Marriage commissioners must wed same-sex couples (Canada)

The Globe and Mail (Canada) 18 Jan 2011
The Saskatchewan government says “no” is not an option for marriage commissioners who are unwilling to wed same-sex couples. At least one commissioner says the province will have to fire him if that’s the case. Justice Minister Don Morgan says marriage commissioners are getting letters informing them about a decision by the province’s top court. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled last week that religious beliefs cannot be used as a reason to refuse to marry same-sex couples. Morgan says the commissioners must follow the ruling or lose their job. “They’ll have to make a decision: either they comply with the ruling or alternatively they surrender their licence. In the event that they don’t, and they’re contravening it, then we would of course take steps to terminate their appointment as a commissioner,” Morgan said Tuesday. There are just under 400 marriage commissioners in Saskatchewan….The Appeal Court had been asked by the government to rule on a proposed law that would have allowed commissioners to cite religious grounds for refusing to marry gays or lesbians. The court was asked to consider two options: allowing all marriage commissioners the right to refuse or including a grandfather clause that would allow commissioners appointed before November 2004 to say no. But the five-judge panel said both options would be unconstitutional and would amount to discrimination because they would violate the equality rights of homosexuals.

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