21 ian. 2011

Canada: religion is no excuse for snubbing gay marriage

One of Canada's local governments has said marriage commissioners who are unwilling to wed same-sex couples are wrong, according to a report by The Canadian Press. Saskatchewan, a province in Canada, had it’s Court of Appeal rule that religious beliefs cannot be used as a reason to refuse to marry same-sex couples. Justice Minister Don Morgan has said the commissioners must follow the ruling or lose their job, but commissioner Larry Bjerland said he’ll have to be fired. “My main reason for refusing is that it’s not right in the eyes of God and, at 73, I’m getting closer to that time where I’m going to have to face him. I want to be able to do that with a clear conscience.” The proposed law was drafted after a conflict arose when commissioner Orville Nichols, a devout Baptist, refused to marry a gay couple in 2005. The two men laid a discrimination complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The case went before the human rights tribunal, which ruled in 2008 that Nichols discriminated against the couple. It found that, as a public servant, he was obligated to marry the couple once they approached him.
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