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Thread: Civil Union Bill has passed in New Zealand!

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    Ellen-VIP JetGrrl's Avatar
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    Default Civil Union Bill has passed in New Zealand!

    WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Still has the second part to follow, but for now, the taste of victory is SWEET


    News excerpt:
    "Earlier, about 300 opponents of the bill gathered on Parliament's front lawn for a silent protest, many holding placards saying, "Say no". One woman broke into chants of "Jesus Rules". A man knelt and prayed. Another burst into tears as he begged supporters of the bill to leave.

    "But gay backers of the legislation disrupted the protest with a sound system blaring out songs including: It's Raining Men, Going to the Chapel, I Want That Man, and We are the Champions. "



    Hahahahahaha love the sense of humour!

    Continued...
    "The bill, which takes effect on April 26, allows same-sex and de facto couples to formally register their relationships under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act. It is intended that they will have the same rights, entitlements and obligations as married couples, but the full consequences of the legislation will not be known till a companion Relationships (Statutory References) Bill is passed. "
    the things that keep us apart, keep me alive..
    the things that keep me alive, keep me alone.... (fink)

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    This is great news!! Congrats on that!! Now only need the rest of the world to follow..
    "Never let go what you believe in. Do never let people make you think you're something you're not

    "Be Strong, Speak True, and Spread the Peace"-MLE

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    good news, Jet :!:
    "I wanna get out of here..."

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    Hey Jetbabe I thought of you this afternoon when I read that online! Good news! I can just imagine the prayer people's faces when the sound system started blaring It's Raining Men! That would have been a classic Kodak moment!

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    Congratulations!!! :P Wow, truly amazing. That makes me so happy to hear. Seriously, I've got tears in my eyes just thinking about how many people's lives this will change for the better. Woo-hoo!

    Let's hope so Laura *crosses fingers*

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    Default Same sex marriage to be law in Canada

    Same-sex marriage to be law
    Even Klein admits defeat; Liberals confident bill will pass as court endorses it

    Janice Tibbetts
    CanWest News Service


    Friday, December 10, 2004

    OTTAWA - The federal government expects to pass a law within a year allowing same-sex marriage across the country, following a Supreme Court of Canada opinion yesterday that powerfully endorsed it.

    The justices unanimously concluded there is no turning back time.

    "Several centuries ago, it would have been understood that marriage be available only to opposite-sex couples," their opinion said.

    "The recognition of same-sex marriage in several Canadian jurisdictions as well as two European countries belies the assertion that the same is true today."

    Same-sex marriage is already legal in six provinces and one territory.

    Paul Martin, the Prime Minister, declared his government "will not permit the balkanization of marriage across the country" and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said he will introduce a bill next month that he predicted will clear a vote in the House of Commons by the end of 2005.

    "The constitutional wind is with us as we table this legislation," Mr. Cotler said at a news conference. "They said: 'Guys, go ahead, we're giving you the green light.' "

    In a 28-page ruling, the Supreme Court strongly approved a bill the Liberal government drafted after abandoning a losing legal fight in the country's courts.

    The opinion, because it came to the court through a special reference, is not legally binding.

    "Far from violating the Charter, [gay marriage] flows from it," said the opinion, written by the entire court to emphasize unanimity.

    The Supreme Court also issued a potent affirmation of religious freedom designed to protect religious officials from performing same-sex weddings against their will.

    "The performance of religious rites is a fundamental aspect of religious practice," the court wrote. "It therefore seems clear that state compulsion on religious officials to perform same-sex marriages contrary to their religious beliefs would violate the guarantee of freedom of religion."

    The judges also cautioned human rights commissions to respect religious freedom in the event it receives complaints from disgruntled gay couples.

    Gay-rights supporters beamed, embraced and gave a thumbs-up to TV cameras in the Supreme Court lobby after the opinion was released, only two months after a hearing attracted a record number of intervenors.

    In Toronto, gay couples and their supporters gathered at a downtown bar to celebrate.

    About 3,000 couples have married in Canada since it became legal in Ontario 18 months ago, said Martha McCarthy, a Toronto lawyer who represented the first gay couples to marry.

    The Alberta government, the main provincial holdout, conceded defeat yesterday, ending Premier Ralph Klein's vow to use the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to pass a law to keep gay marriage out of the province.

    The clause is a safety valve allowing governments to override court rulings.

    The Supreme Court ruled the power to decide who can marry is exclusive federal jurisdiction; provinces are responsible for the ceremony and registration.

    "It is only the federal government that can use the notwithstanding clause," acknowledged Alberta Justice Minister Ron Stevens.

    The court declined a federal request to declare outright that the traditional definition of marriage -- the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others -- is unconstitutional.

    The matter was settled when the federal government abandoned its legal fight against gay marriage 18 months ago by not appealing rulings from the influential Ontario and British Columbia courts of appeal, the court said.

    "The government has clearly accepted these decisions and adopted this position as its own," the court wrote. "The parties in the previous litigation, and other same-sex couples, have relied upon the finality of the decisions and have acquired rights which are entitled to protection."

    The court's refusal to specifically kill the traditional marriage definition gave hope to some opponents of gay marriage, who say they will launch a final fight for politicians to vote down the proposed bill.

    The Liberals had hoped to use the court's opinion on the issue as ammunition when seeking support from a divided Parliament.

    Several groups, as well as Liberal-turned-Conservative Senator Anne Cools, called on the government to hold a nationwide referendum, saying the opinion is far from clear.

    Others accused the Liberals of stacking the Supreme Court with liberal judges and warned MPs who support the federal bill will be voted out of office.

    "Marriage has been hijacked today," said Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College in Toronto.

    Canada would become the third country, behind the Netherlands and Belgium, to allow gay marriage if the bill passes as expected.

    Mr. Cotler predicted his bill will have little trouble passing in the Commons.

    There will be imposed solidarity on the Liberal Cabinet and the vast majority of the Bloc Quebecois and the New Democrats will also support the bill, giving the initiative much of the strength it needs to survive.

    Most of the Conservatives are against the bill and there are also some pockets of vocal opposition within the Liberal ranks, but the government needs the support of less than half of its backbenches if voting expectations hold.

    The court also dismissed arguments the authors of the 1867 Constitution did not intend for marriages to be extended to same-sex couples when they gave the federal government sole jurisdiction.

    The judges said the Constitution is not frozen in time and should be interpreted to address "the realities of modern life."
    "Never let go what you believe in. Do never let people make you think you're something you're not

    "Be Strong, Speak True, and Spread the Peace"-MLE

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