Monday, September 3, 2007

Same sex marriage in Canada

Voices: Same-sex marriage in Canada
Audio interviews with those who helped shaped the debate

Globe and Mail Update

September 12, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

TORONTO — Just eight years ago, the Canadian government under Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien backed a Reform Party motion asserting Parliament's view that marriage is the union between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others. The motion passed easily 216-55.

What followed has been a remarkable sea change in the legal and social recognition of same-sex marriage in Canada.

With the release of Statistics Canada 2006 census numbers on self-identified same-sex couples in Canada, the Globe and Mail has revisited the divisive debates, court rulings, and the couples who fought for the right to say ‘I do.'

Michael Leshner and Michael Stark: Canada's first gay couple to be legally married in a civil ceremony. They were wed on June 10, 2003, hours after an Ontario court recognized the religious marriage of Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell.


The Michaels: Entire discussion

On their fight to get married, ignorance, persecution, the census and why a civil union wouldn't suffice (26:37)

David Rayside: Entire conversation

Professor David Rayside on why Canada was so quick to sanction gay marriage, the arguments against it, the census, and religion (24:42)

Rev. Brent Hawkes

The weddings at Metropolitan Community Church, their impact and legacy (3:54)

David Mainse: Entire conversation

Rev. David Mainse on the traditional definition of marriage, the bible, and why he fought same-sex marriage (15:58)

Tom Warner

Activist Tom Warner on why the gay community wanted to be included in the census (4:15)

• Entire conversation (26:37)

• Clip 1: Looking back on four years of marriage (1:54)

• Clip 2: Ignorance and religious persecution (3:06)

• Clip 3: Why it happened so quickly (:58)

• Clip 4: Why not civil unions instead of marriage? (5:58)

• Clip 5: Reflections on the wedding day (3:00)

• Clip 6: Gay marriage, couples and the census (3:59)

David Rayside: Professor of political science and director of the Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at University of Toronto. He has just completed writing Queer Inclusions, Continental Divisions, which explores political developments in Canada and the United States in three areas: recognition of same-sex relationships and rights, parenting and sexual diversity among public school students and teachers. The book will be published next year.

• Entire conversation (24:42)

• Clip 1: Background on gay marriage in Canada (3:04)

• Clip 2: Procreative argument against same-sex marriage (1:05)

• Clip 4: Other arguments against same-sex marriage (5:54)

• Clip 5: Same-sex and the census (6:00)

• Clip 6: Can it be undone? What about religion? (1:55)

Rev. Brent Hawkes of Toronto's Metropolitan Community Church, who used an obscure portion of the Marriage Act to wed two gay couples on Jan. 14, 2001. When the City of Toronto refused to register the marriages, the couples, the church and six other couples filed a lawsuit, which led to the historic decision by Ontario's Court of Appeal to uphold a lower court ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.

• Conversation about the weddings, their impact and legacy (3:54)

Rev. David Mainse: Founder of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. and former host of the long-running evangelical television show 100 Huntley Street. Rev. Mainse stepped down from the show in 2003, in part to fight same-sex legislation.

• Entire conversation (15:59)

• Excerpts on why he opposes same-sex marriage (1:58)

Tom Warner: Gay activist, author and active member of the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario since it was founded in 1975. He is writing a book due out in Spring 2008 on the religious right in Canada called God, Gays and Government: The Social Conservative War on Homosexuality and the Secular State.

• Excerpts on same-sex relationships and the census (4:15)

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