"We must always remember that 'separate but equal' is not equal."
So spoke Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin during the second reading debate on Bill C-38 (The Civil Marriage Act) in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill on February 16, 2005.
(See the full text of the second reading.)
This quote is from the CBC web site's "Timeline of Events":
"The Liberals' controversial Bill C-38, titled Law on Civil Marriage, passes a final reading in the House of Commons, sailing through in a 158-133 vote. Supported by most members of the Liberal party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP, the vote makes Canada the third country in the world, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to officially recognize same-sex marriage."
So, Canada becomes the third country in the world to recognize gay marriage. It's not quite a landslide victory - the vote tallied 158 for and 133 against - but still it's a significant-enough margin and makes a pretty strong statement.
This is not such a new development for those of us out here on the west coast of Canada in British Columbia, where same sex marriage has been legal since 2003, but this is pretty new federally-speaking; "the paint is still wet" on this issue, and there's likely to be a lot of noise and protest againt it from various social and religious conservatives who feel that their beliefs are being threatened.
I generally don't pay too much attention to CNN, Fox, or the other rightish mainstream U.S. media, but I wouldn't be surprised if the far-rightists and religious (funda)mental cases have lots to say about Canada's new level of moral decay...
More from the CBC:
A related story from "The Blog of Love":