Saturday, June 18, 2005

No South, Later North

In California, a federal judge will make a homosexual couple appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court in an effort to overturn the state's DoMA law. Uptown in Canada, the sure-to-pass bill legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide was forced to a fall vote when the Conservative Party leader sidetracked it from a vote this session.

In Santa Ana, Central District Judge Gary Taylor refused to rule on a petition Thursday. Christopher Hammer and Arthur Smelt of Mission Viejo, joined by another dozen gay couples, won a March state-trial decision saying DoMA was unconstitutional. Lawyers for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund claimed victory (or Orange Crush). Taylor used standard anti lingo in his non-ruling, writing:
The Court finds it is a legitimate interest to encourage the stability and legitimacy of what may reasonably be viewed as the optimal union for procreating and rearing children by both biological parents.
That's a set of code words usually reserved by anti-gay groups. It always brings to question whether the majority of married heterosexuals who are unable or unwilling to procreate have the right to wed by that standard. Think. Think. Think.

In Ottawa, the Conservative folk and such humorless groups as Defend Marriage Canada! are doing whatever they can to keep this winner from coming to a vote. The San Francisco Chronicle has details on the current efforts here.

Key stages include:
  • An Ontario appeals court okayed same-sex marriage two years ago.
  • Courts in British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon Territory followed.
  • The national government stopped appeals and formulated a uniform bill (C-38) permitting same-sex marriage.
  • Thursday, the legislative committee considering it reported it favorably for a vote by the full congress.
  • Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will try to forestall a vote by June 23, forcing the issue to wait until the fall session.
The Liberals were unable to cut a deal with the Conservatives, who had linked pushing off C-38 with passing the budget. The version that finally passes will probably end up with U.S.-style exemptions for religious groups.


Anonymous said...

Point of order: Canada does not have a Congress, it has a Parliament.

Stephanie in Victoria

massmarrier said...

Affirmative grunt. That was to have been a lower-case "congress." I'll change it.

While the dictionary lets us refer to your "congress," we can't really say even loosely that we have a "parialment."