Same Sex Marriage

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the historic B.C. Appeal Court decision yesterday on same sex marriage is a victory for equality in Canada. It's also further evidence that the waffling and denial of equality for gays and lesbians by the government is unconscionable and unacceptable.

Based on the three Appeal Court decisions, will the Minister make three things clear today? No more delays! No more studies! No more government appeals!

Will the government do the right thing and stand on the side of equality and change the law to allow same sex marriage? How long will the Minister take on this issue?

Hon. Martin Cauchon (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the Member is raising a very important social issue for all Canadians.

We said last summer that we wanted to have parliamentarians involved in the debate. We have asked the Justice Committee to proceed with the consultation process. I was told that consultation is finished now. We expect to have the report soon.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are facing three decisions, one in Quebec, the other one in Ontario and yesterday the decision of the B.C. Court of Appeal, which is a very interesting and important decision.

We will wait for the recommendations from the Committee and after that the government will come forward with a position.

This Question Period Transcript was posted on May 2, 2003