Same-sex marriage in Yukon

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Same-sex marriage in Yukon began on July 14, 2004, when Yukon Territory became the fourth jurisdiction in Canada to legalize same-sex marriage, after the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec.[1]

Rob Edge and Stephen Dunbar[1] had brought suit against the Yukon government after being refused a marriage licence in Whitehorse. Their lawyer, Jim Tucker, used a novel approach: rather than arguing on the basis of Section Fifteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as in the previous cases, he argued that the federal government's failure to appeal the decisions legalizing same-sex marriage in Ontario, BC, and Quebec signalled a change in Canadian common law regarding marriage.

Supreme Court of the Yukon Territory Justice Peter McIntyre agreed that the federal government was inconsistent in its approach to the definition of marriage, a federal responsibility, since it had not appealed the first three decisions. Therefore, the territory's failure to provide marriage licences to same-sex couples meant that the law was being inconsistently applied in Yukon. Justice McIntyre declared same-sex marriages legal in Yukon, and ordered the government to issue a marriage licence to Mr. Edge and Mr. Dunbar.[2]

The judge obtained verbal promises from the territorial government that the couple would be granted marriage licences. Yukon premier Dennis Fentie praised the ruling.

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  1. ^ a b "Same-sex marriage in the Yukon Territory, Canada". Kingston: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 20 November 2005. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Same-sex marriage ruled legal in Yukon". CTV. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 

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