Same-sex marriage in New Brunswick
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Reference re Same-Sex Marriage
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Following a number of court rulings in other provinces recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry, New Brunswick's Justice Minister Brad Green announced in September 2004 that the Government of New Brunswick would not follow in the footsteps of Nova Scotia in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He said that the definition is a federal matter, and the province would recognize only marriages between a man and a woman until the federal government came up with another definition (as it finally did with the Civil Marriage Act in 2005).
However, Premier Bernard Lord indicated that if and when the federal government passes such legislation, his government will comply with it. He also indicated he would comply with a court ruling. He was personally opposed.
In April 2005, four same-sex couples filed a court challenge against the government's policy against issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples. The couples include prominent New Brunswick gay rights advocate Art Vautour-Toole and his husband Wayne Toole (who have been married in Ontario), as well as Catherine Sidney and Bridget McGale and two other couples.
On June 23 of that year, Judge Judy Clendenning of the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick in Moncton issued a ruling that the province's failure to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples was a violation of their Charter rights, in accordance with the court rulings in other provinces. She allowed a ten-day grace period to the government in which to begin issuing same-sex marriage licences. This was less than a month before Parliament made same-sex marriage legal throughout Canada.
The new licenses became available on July 4.
In March 2007, the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick made amendments to the Family Services Act by allowing joint adoption by "common-law partners", including same-sex couples thus allowing same-sex couples to adopt children. It took effect on 1 February 2008.
In December 2008, amendments to the Marriage Act and numerous other acts were made by striking out "husband and wife" and substituting "spouses".
- "Same-sex marriage in the New Brunswick, Canada". Kingston: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 29 April 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- "N.B. same-sex couples seek right to marry". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 25 April 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- "Court legalizes gay marriage in New Brunswick". CTV. 24 June 2005. Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- "All systems go for same-sex marriage in New Brunswick". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 July 2005. Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Sexual Orientation and Legal Rights
- Family Services Act, SNB 1980, c F-2.2
- "Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act" (PDF). Government of New Brunswick. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
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