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Lecture 18

POLS 3140 Lecture 18: LGBTQ Rights

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 3140
Dave Snow

March 23, 2017 Lecture 18 LGBTQ Rights Part II M v. H (1999) Dialogue? Harris PCs Pass legislation called Amendments Because of the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in M v. H Act, 1999 Monologue with a pout? Parliament passes Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act o Extends common law benefits to same sex couples, amending 69 statutes o Reaffirmed common law marriage definition as the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others After M v. H: SSM in Legislatures 1999 House votes 21655: Marriage should remain the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others 2000 Alberta Marriage Amendment Act o Marriage between man and woman o Inserts notwithstanding clause for Charter and Alberta Bill of Rights After M v H: Provincial SSM Cases Halpern v. Canada (2003): Ontario Court of Appeal rules opposite sex definition violates s. 15(1), not saved by s. 1 o Natural procreation is not a sufficiently pressing and substantial objective to justify infringing the equality rights of same sex couples Subsequent case in BC Same result Federal government does not appeal Instead, refers draft legislation legalizing SSM to SCC Hennigar: The Feds 4 Options 1. Do nothing o SSM only legal in BC + ON 2. Immediately legislate to legalize SSM o Enough political support, but caucus split 3. Appeal ON or BC case to SCC o Extremely likely SCC would dismiss appeal o Pass the buck to the SCC 4. Draft bill + reference to the SCC o Chance that SCC would not answer o Seems like suboptimal choice Feds 4 Options Why did the government opt for Reference? Multiple games being played o Sexual orientation equality o Liberal party caucus o Partisan competition o Election o Executive policy making authority o Liberal leadership Draft and reference best option politically o Delay and dont have to defend old definition Reference re Same Sex Marriage (2004)
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