Saskatchewan’s provincial Court of Appeals has ruled that it is unconstitutional to allow marriage commissioners to opt-out of performing same-sex weddings due to religious objections. In its decision, the Court noted that marriage commissioners are “the only option” for Canadians who wish to marry in a non-religious ceremony.
The Appeal Court said that accommodating commissioners’ religious convictions does not justify discriminating against same-sex couples who want to tie the knot. Five judges on the bench at Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal have been considering the case since it heard arguments on the proposed law last May. That’s when the provincial government sought advice on two versions of its proposed law — one that would allow all of the province’s approximately 370 commissioners to refuse to wed couples on religious grounds, and another that would only allow the exemption for those who held the job before gay marriage was legalized in 2004. In the ruling issued Monday, the court said the effect of both options runs counter to Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Either of them, if enacted, would violate the equality rights of gay and lesbian individuals. This violation would not be reasonable and justifiable within the meaning of s. 1 of the Charter. As a result, if put in place, either option would be unconstitutional and of no force or effect.”
Stand by for the World Net Daily headline: “Canada FORCES Christians To Marry Homosexuals! And It Can Happen HERE!”
UPDATE: That didn’t take long. Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber just tweeted: “Liberty of conscience dead in Canada. Dying here.”