OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Same-sex marriage
So, I hear that New York State has finally legalized same-sex marriage. That’s fantastic news!
Throughout the debate, however, many people were wondering aloud about the consequences—both direct and indirect—that should be expected. Some of the predictions are downright dire.
I think I can chime in here. The first legal same-sex marriages in Canada happened in 2003, eight years ago—and it’s been nearly six years since Canada legalized same-sex marriage nationwide via parliamentary vote. In that sense, looking at Canada is a little bit like looking into the future. I think, therefore, that I should warn all you New Yorkers about the consequences that same-sex marriage will bring.
For easy reference and discussion, I’ve compiled each consequence into an exhaustive, numbered list. New York will experience each of these consequences, and I encourage other states to think long and hard about each of the items on this list before deciding to go down the path of same-sex marriage as well.
So, without further ado, if you’re ready, I present the complete of consequences of legal same-sex marriage:
- Same-sex couples can marry.
There you go. Now no one can say that they haven’t been informed.
Congratulations, again, to all my friends in New York. Keep fighting, and all the other states will follow!
Well, that didn’t take very long, did it?
Just weeks after Canada’s federal election, delegates at the Conservative Party Convention have raised a dead social issue over the weekend, discussing and voting on a resolution to ban same-sex marriage in Canada.
While a same-sex marriage ban had already been official Conservative Party policy, delegates readily voted to re-affirm it, adding in new measures that would let religious organisations deny facilities and services to same-sex couples. The resolution also included a wording change to clarify that this is Conservative Party policy, and not necessarily official government policy. The latter change was likely the government’s attempt to distance itself from contentious social issues early in their mandate, although it’s now perfectly clear what the party’s goals are overall.
So, what does all this mean for the GLBT community in Canada? First, that Canada’s governing party is not here for you. This is hardly a surprise, considering the party’s history of hostility toward GLBT citizens, but with Stephen Harper’s attempts to paint the Conservatives as Canada’s new, natural governing party, a lot of people have forgotten the party’s social conservative roots.
More worryingly, though, the overwhelming support of this resolution from within the party suggests that a backbencher’s bill to ban same-sex marriage, if introduced, would easily find the numbers required to pass, even if the government would rather keep it off the agenda.
Now, with nine consecutive provincial court rulings affirming that equal marriage is a right guaranteed by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a bill to rescind these rights would face some—shall we say—difficulties. So, let’s put on our cowboy boots for a moment and imagine what, exactly, would be required here.
First, it’s important to note that the Supreme Court of Canada has never ruled on the constitutionality of a same-sex marriage ban. The government is in a position to appoint judges that could dissent from the individual provincial courts’ longstanding consensus, and could conceivably do just that. Perhaps weirder, even if the Supreme Court sided with the nine earlier court rulings in favour of equal marriage rights, an obscure constitutional clause could be used by the government to strip them away anyway in five-year intervals without legal recourse.
This isn’t unheard of. In late 2000, Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government, under the leadership of Ralph Klein, invoked Section 33 of the Charter—the Notwithstanding Clause—to ban same-sex marriage in the province. By using this clause, the government effectively acknowledged that their law violated the Charter of Rights, but allowed it to remain on the books completely immune from court challenges for a period of five years (at which point they would have had the option pass it again). The only reason the government didn’t invoke the clause a second time in 2005 was because marriage is federal jurisdiction and by that time Paul Martin’s Liberal government had already granted equal marriage rights to citizens nationwide.
Today, Canada’s federal government is formed by a party in support of banning same-sex marriage, and the Notwithstanding clause is available at their discretion. So, despite challenges, they could absolutely take away your right to marry if they wanted.
Now, are any of these doomsday scenarios likely? I’m going to say no. If I had to bet on it, I’d say the government’s desire to stay in power outweighs the cries from their base to force the wedding ring off my finger. Use of the Notwithstanding clause would likely appear mean-spirited and unpopular to the Canadian public, and it would be unusual for the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn nine consecutive lower court rulings—certainly a phenomenon for the history books.
Nonetheless, the fact that there is landslide majority support within Canada’s governing party to venture down this path re-confirms what I’ve always suspected: The Conservative Party is full of giant douches. So hold on to your hats, kids! Even if all this party policy nonsense turns out to be the idle threats that I suspect they are, I still foresee four years of obnoxious barium saline suspension waves coming our way. Yuck.
- Tories reject leadership vote rule changes [CBC News]
A New Brunswick florist is refusing to provide flowers to a couple on their wedding day because they’re lesbians.
Kim Evans, owner of the Petals and Promises, wrote a letter to the couple declaring that she would, under no circumstances, sell them flowers. “As a born-again Christian,” she wrote, “I must respect my conscience before God and have no part in this matter.”
So, God forbids selling commercial products to gay people now?
Well, I guess everyone’s free to horribly misinterpret their religion—except it’s illegal in New Brunswick to deny business to anyone based on their race, religion, or sexual orientation. And that’s just as it should be, otherwise society can just go back to putting up “no coloreds,” “no Jews,” and “no pansies” signs in their windows. (Well, unless a shop happens to be sold out of pansies.)
The couple’s wedding planner, Mario Bourgeois Leduc, has brought Ms. Evan’s behaviour to the attention of the media because he was particularly disturbed by the incident. “Even though people think discrimination and homophobia is almost nill, that is not the reality,” he told QMI agency yesterday. “That negativity is there from Day One if you’re a same-sex couple planning the most important day of your life.”
Indeed, gay people put up with a lot more nonsense than most people realize. Under no circumstances should anyone be afraid of being denied public services—be they flowers, an apartment, lodging, or anything else—simply because of who they are. Yet it remains a real fear for gay people.
So, to Ms. Evans:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
You’re a douche
A giant douche.
Have a great weekend, kids!
Thanks to everyone who sent me this story!
The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled on Monday that civil marriage commissioners—individuals licensed by the government to perform non-religious civil marriage ceremonies—cannot refuse to marry same-sex couples.
Saskatchewan’s government, under premier Brad Wall, had asked the court for advice on two proposed bills. One would have allowed marriage commissioners to deny public services to gay couples, and the other would have allowed only marriage commissioners licensed before the legalization of same-sex marriage to do so. Both proposals were ruled unconstitutional.
This decision was expected and right. Marriage commissioners are there to perform non-religious, legal ceremonies and are not representatives of their privately held religious beliefs. Allowing a public service employee to refuse their duties based on the sexual orientation of their clients would have been unprecedented, opening a can of writhing, slimy worms as to what other services can be denied to the public.
Not everyone is content with the court’s ruling, of course. Maurice Vellacott, a Conservative MP (who has been on this site before, imagine that), angrily blasted the court decision on Tuesday. “The Court has hereby belittled religious faith or any faith for that matter,” he announced, hereby, in a press interview. “It sets up a hierarchy of rights saying these same-sex rights are more important than freedom of consience and religion.”
Utter nonsense, of course. No one, not even gays, are allowed to deny public services to anyone legally entitled to those services. That right never existed, and this ruling hasn’t changed it. Religious freedom, also, still exists in Canada. Everyone is free to worship whichever religion they choose.
So, if you believe that a gaggle of motley-clad deities mandates that all moral humans must get their left nipple pierced by an 84-year-old former acrobat upon graduating high school and have it fastened with a pewter-cast triskaidecagon, then by all means, go for it. But that doesn’t mean you get to go around denying boating licenses to anyone who has their pewter-cast triskaidecagon through their right nipple instead of their left.
At least, I think so. Technically, that court decision is still pending.
Gay Canadians who were married to foreign partners in embassies will only be able to sponsor their spouse for Canadian citizenship if the host country recognizes same-sex marriage, according to recent changes in immigration policy.
Immigration officials said there was a high demand for same-sex sponsorships in 2010, which required a tightening of the policy to close a “possible loophole.”
This change is a little odd. For one, marriage isn’t a requirement for a Canadian to sponsor their partner for citizenship. According to Canada’s immigration guide, common-law partners, even gay ones, are fully recognized. All that’s required is to be in a codependent relationship for a year, and whether or not a spouse’s country of residence has equal marriage rights doesn’t change that.
Moreover, what “loophole” exists here that doesn’t for straight couples? Marriages of convenience are undoubtedly a problem, but this policy change just thwarts gay short-term marriages of convenience while leaving the door to straight ones wide open—and surely the latter is the bigger problem here. I mean, sure, we gays are fond of mail order catalogues, but the return policies are far too limited to find fiancés that way.
Update, January 13th: According to some sharp investigation by Xtra, the CIC’s embassy marriage rules are not recent at all, having been in place for ages. There’s no explanation as to why the Toronto SUN reported the change as recent, nor as to why they attributed the change as a means to close a “loophole.” Nevertheless, I still think the specific mention of same-sex marriage legality in the CIC’s rules is bizarre. Inconsistent, too, considering that straight marriages are legal everywhere. After all, if the benefit of sponsoring a married spouse over a common-law partner is to take advantage of a shorter codependency period, then straight couples can use (or abuse) this advantage more readily than gay ones.
An appeals court in Texas has ruled that a gay couple who married out of state can not get divorced.
The couple, who married each other four years ago while living in Massachusetts, are now forced to remain legally married unless they move back to Massachusetts and get a divorce there. While a lower court initially granted the divorce, it was appealed by the state’s Attorney General on the claim that granting a divorce would lead to same-sex marriage.
So, there you go; forcing a gay couple to stay married is now a state strategy in keeping same-sex marriage illegal. It’s almost logical, I suppose… like stopping a kid from smoking by forcing him to finish an entire pack of cigarettes. Or something.
Texas, of course, doesn’t recognize equal marriage rights. What the state was really afraid of is that granting a divorce would essentially amount to having recognized the marriage. It’s a bit of absurd paranoia, if you ask me. Particularly since equal marriage rights is an inevitability as more and more people shed their fears and prejudices about gay people. In the meantime, enjoy your forced marriage, anonymous couple. Texas is seeing to it!
- Court says gay couples can’t divorce in Texas [Associated Press]
On Wednesday, just days after my wedding, a federal judge declared that California’s Proposition 8—a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage—violated the constitutional rights guaranteed to all U.S. citizens.
I couldn’t be happier. Canada got its first taste of equal marriage rights in 2003, and eventually recognized it nationwide in 2005. Knowing that so many people south of the border will soon share the same joy and freedoms that we have up here makes me giddy with anticipation.
Californians still have to wait a little while before enjoying their full legal equality, mind you. Anti-gay lobbyists have already appealed the decision and a temporary stay has been put into effect, possibly until a decision is reached there. I don’t know enough about the U.S. justice system to offer a prediction of the outcome, but I do think that the anti-equality side simply hasn’t demonstrated arguments that can hold up to court scrutiny. After all, according to them, Canada should be a smoking crater by now. Of course, in reality, nothing bad has come of it by any demonstrable standard.
California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Attorney General, Jerry Brown, has both filed formal motions to lift California’s stay, which would reintroduce full equality immediately. Until then, congratulations to California for your important step toward the full equality that your constitution guarantees!
Argentina has become the first Latin American country (and the tenth country overall) to permit full, equal marriage to all its citizens. The vote, which passed 33-27, took place Thursday morning.
Opponents had hoped to instead pass a separate, and inherently unequal, civil unions bill that would have granted most of the rights of marriage to gay couples, but would have barred them from adopting children or even undergoing in-vitro fertilization (an astonishing personal rights invasion, if I ever heard one). Good thing full equality passed instead!
I really don’t have much else to say but congratulations, Argentina!
- Argentina legalizes gay marriage in historic vote [Associated Press]
A European human rights court has ruled that the legality of same-sex unions should be left up to individual European countries since there is no Europe-wide consensus on whether or not equal marriage recognition for everyone is a fundamental right.
The case was brought forward by an Austrian gay couple who are being denied the right to marry in their home country.
Six EU states have full equal marriage rights for all citizens, and ten more have state recognition of gay partnerships, without full marriage equality. The other eleven states don’t allow any kind of same-sex unions.
Justice is slow, but at least the majority of European countries have at least some kind of recognition of gay rights; keep fighting for your human rights and the rest will follow.
- European human rights court rejects gay marriage bid [BBC News]
- Court rules no right to gay marriage in Europe [Toronto SUN]
Great news coming out of Iceland this month, as it became the ninth country in the world to offer full marriage equality to all its citizens! The parliamentary vote passed unanimously, 49 to 0, making Iceland join the ranks of Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden in legalizing same-sex marriage.
This is fantastic news, although I’m a little surprised it didn’t happen earlier. I mean, what with Björk and all.
Iceland also made international news in 2009 after electing Johanna Sigurdardottir, the world’s first gay leader.
Let’s end the week on some sweet notes, why not?
British Columbia’s legislature will have a new name to remember after an NDP MLA married his longtime partner last month. Spencer Herbert will now be known as Spencer Chandra Herbert, making him Canada’s first MLA to take his gay partner’s last name. The Vancouver-West MLA has already updated his website with the change, and hopes that other legislative sources will soon follow. The change won’t take too much effort, mind you; during house proceedings, MLAs are always referred to by their constituency.
On the other side of the ocean, Slap reader Melanie has written in with some good news about a British soldier in Prince Harry’s regiment. Lance Corporal James Wharton from the Blues and Royals has married his boyfriend, Thom McCaffrey. James wore military regalia to help formalize the wedding, which was held at the regiment’s Knightsbridge barracks. It was the first same-sex wedding for any member of the Household Cavalry.
Of course, after these two weddings, I’ll keep an eye out for news on whether or not society will continue. Until then, have a great weekend!
- Gay MLA weds and takes husband’s name [Xtra West]
- Gay Wrexham soldier’s wedding makes military history [The Leader]
- Prince’s Man in Gay ‘I Do’ [The Sun]
Good news! The Portuguese parliament passed a same-sex marriage bill last week, which will make the country the eighth in the world to have equal marriage rights nationwide.
President Cavaco Silva can still veto the bill, but there hasn’t been any indication that he will do this, which gives it a pretty good chance of being ratified. Encouragingly, the bill sparked very little opposition in the public, even among social conservatives.
I’m not sure what country will be next, but I’ll be taking bets all morning on which country is more likely to give equal rights and freedoms to all of its citizens before the other: The United States… or Slovenia. (And just a head’s up for my stateside friends, Slovenia has recognized gay registered partnerships since 2005 and is likely to send a same-sex marriage bill to parliament this year; think you can beat them to it?)
- Portuguese parliament passes gay marriage bill [Montreal Gazette]
The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal will consider and rule on whether or not civil marriage commissioners can deny their otherwise public services to gay couples. The case is in response to a request from the provincial government, which is seeking information on the constitutionality of a proposed legislation to allow just that sort of thing.
In addition to the usual suspects—unions, rights groups, and some individuals—several church organizations have sought intervener status so that they can speak on the case. Most will argue that presiding over a gay marriage violates the religious freedoms of the individuals doing the presiding.
Churches are already exempt from Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and therefore do not need to serve everyone equally regardless of their gender, race, or sexual orientation. That does not, however, apply to individuals. At least not yet—and that includes civil marriage commissioners, who are, after all, just people who perform the legal duties at non-religious wedding ceremonies for people who do not wish to get married by a priest in a church. They’re not, nor are they supposed to be, representatives of their personal religion.
Nevertheless, the Canadian Fellowship of Churches and Ministers, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and the Christian Legal Fellowship are all seeking to influence this public ruling. (I shall assume that they all pay taxes, then…)
Here’s my thoughts. Much in the same way that a vegetarian mustn’t deny a carnivore a boating license (lest the carnivore go fishing in violation of the vegetarian’s personal beliefs), a marriage commissioner cannot deny a marriage license to a gay couple; and that’s the way it should stay.
I mean, where did this idea come from that you can just avoid the duties that you’re expected to do? (cough, cough)
Alfred Baldasaro, a Republican State Representative for New Hampshire, went on a bizarre rant this week, starting with the accusation that the state government was selling children to gay couples for $10,000 a pop.
The statement was made in reference to same-sex adoption, which has been legal in New Hampshire since 1999. When asked to rescind the offensive remark, Baldasaro simply repeated it: “I wanted to make sure everyone understood here, that this legislature sold the rights of $10,000 per kid under title four, when they said that homosexual couples, not married, can adopt.”
This was only the start of the rant, mind you. Baldasaro then directly compared gay couples to incestuous ones, asking “aren’t we discriminating against all them?”
“What about the Muslims?”, he continued. “Everyone’s praising the Muslims. They’re killing us. What about them, they want three, four wives. We’re discriminating against them!”
Well, that was a masterpiece of crazy.
Baldasaro’s statements were made in support of a bill that would ban same-sex marriage in the state, demonstrating exactly the type of people that are typically behind those types of bills.
- New Hampshire GOPer: State is selling children to gay couples [Digital Journal]
Two lesbians that wed in Canada last October will not be seen as married in their homeland. A Russian court threw out their case this week, saying that same-sex foreign marriages simply won’t be recognized. “I will have to uphold the decision made by the registry office in May,” said judge Boris Gerbekov, “foreign marriages accepted in Russia must involve a couple of opposite sex.”
This is the same couple that had tried to get a marriage license last May, but were rejected in early October. That prompted them to get a marriage license here in Canada, hoping it would be recognized. Now that their latest attempt has been turfed, they’ll appeal to the European Court of Human Rights where a decision could take up to five years.
Rights have to be fought with persistence. Best of luck, you two! It’ll pay off someday.
- Court rejects Russian lesbians’ Canada marriage [Reuters Canada]
Prince Edward Island finally updated their lawbooks over the holidays in recognition of same-sex couples for 29 pieces of legislation. While same-sex marriages have been legal in the province since federal law changed in 2006, spouses were still referred to as “husband and wife” and “man and woman” in provincial documents and laws until now.
There was no reason given for the nearly four year delay, but the change means that vital statistics, birth certificates, and other provincial documents and departments will now have accurate data.
Well, I’m glad to see you’ve joined the rest of the country, Island! (I can call you Island for short, right?)
Slap reader John writes in with some good news coming out of Washington, DC. The city council has voted in favour of legalizing equal marriage rights for gay couples!
The bill’s fate is now with congress, which has 30 days to veto it, which appears unlikely, or let it be.
Of course, gay marriage opponents are already in hysterics. A group calling themselves Stand4Marriage (meaning opposite-sex only marriage) has declared their intentions to put the issue to a referendum vote on the next ballot, asking every single resident whether or not to take away the marriage rights from gay couples.
Still, if all goes well, DC residents will have full equal marriage rights by St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s hoping for the best!
- DC City Council votes to legalize gay marriage [Associated Press]
Same-sex couples are virtually identical to opposite-sex couples when it comes to age, income, and child rearing according to census data released in the United States this month.
A study conducted at UCLA analyzed the data for nearly 150,000 gay couples to compare how they fare in comparison to their straight counterparts—taking into account gay couples who were legally married as well as those that still referred to each other as being married even if equal marriage rights were not legal in their state. The results show that gay married couples are 52 years old on average, earn a combined household income of $91,558, and have children 31 percent of the time. This compares to straight couples who are 50 years old on average, earn a household income of $95,075, and have children 43 percent of the time.
Gary Gates, a UCLA researcher who compiled the results, said that these numbers show that gay and straight families aren’t as different as lobbyists claim:
Most proponents of traditional marriage will say that when you allow these couples to marry, you are going to change the fundamental nature of marriage by decoupling it from procreation. Clearly [same-sex couples] are not decoupling child rearing from marriage.
Just goes to show you, gay people really aren’t all that different from straight people. Except for our extrasensory abilities and ability to wither your crops by blinking, that is.
- Report: Gay couples similar to straight spouses [Associated Press]
Last week, I said that people who hold anti-gay views were a small and shrinking minority. Behind their loud and obnoxious rally cries, there just isn’t any real support.
I’ve cited polls before, but most were conducted around the time of the same-sex marriage debate. I didn’t cite anything in my last post to back up my claim that Stephen Harper’s new speech writer (who believes that same-sex couples shouldn’t even be able to share each others benefits let alone get married) is part of a fringe group, so let’s see if we can put this to rest once and for all.
As it turns out, the most recent poll about equal marriage rights was conducted just five weeks ago by Angus Reid Strategies. They polled over 4000 people across three countries, including 1,006 Canadians. The result: 84% of Canadians believe that same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as straight couples. Of those, 73% support full-on same-sex marriage and the remaining 27% support civil unions with all the same legal rights.
The anti-gay side—Canadians who believe that gay couples should have no legal rights whatsoever—polled at 11%, a segment rapidly approaching the single digits. The remaining 4% were “not sure.”
Basically, Canada is leading both the United States and Britain in support for equality for gay people. It just looks like the staffers with which our Prime Minister surrounds himself aren’t among those supporters.
Catholic Vote Action, a religious political group based in Chicago, is demanding that an ad supporting equal marriage rights in the state of Maine be pulled off the air.
The ad, which features a real family including a Catholic grandmother who supports her gay son and his adopted child, was produced by Protect Maine Equality in response to an upcoming ballot initiative that would take away the existing right of gay couples to marry in the state. “I’ve been a Catholic all my life,” the grandmother says in the ad, “my faith means a lot to me.” She continues, “Marriage to me is a great institution that works, and it’s what I want for my children too.”
Essentially, it’s a real-life example of how it’s possible to harmonize one’s faith and family, supporting the loving relationships in which families can flourish.
Unacceptable, of course, according to Catholic Vote Action, who released a press release on Monday declaring that all Catholics do not support “counterfeit marriages” and demanding that the ad be pulled immediately. Because, as we all know, loving and supporting your family throughout hardships and mean-spirited attacks just isn’t a value worth keeping.
But back in the land of reality, for all my stateside friends who have a say in the matter, remember to support equality and vote NO on Maine’s Question 1!
Update: Slap reader Alan points out that you don’t need to live in Maine to help out with the No On 1 cause. With only a couple of weeks before the ballot, and with polls showing a statistical tie in opinion, now is exactly the time when volunteers and donations are needed the most! Visit ProtectMaineEquality.org and volunteer to phonebank from home or donate for more ad airtime.
An extended hat tip goes to Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin for the story.
- Pro-Gay Marriage Ad Features Catholic Mom [U.S. News]
A Russian court has blocked what would have been the country’s first same-sex marriage. Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko were told that they couldn’t get married like other couples because of their sex. Shipitko has now told the media that they will fight the decision:
We are a family already. We live together and share household chores. We also would like to have children; that is why we want legal recognition of our union.
Irina and Irina are now planning to come to Canada and wed. They’re hoping that a marriage license obtained elsewhere will carry the same legal rights back home.
Good on you, gals! And good luck!
- Russian court blocks same-sex wedding [CBC News]
Canada’s pretty cool. No matter who you are or where you’re from, you can make your marriage commitments official up here—including gay couples from countries where same-sex marriages are not recognized. Just, maybe, don’t expect to get divorced if things don’t work out.
Divorces in Canada are, in fact, a legal impossibility unless at least one half of the couple has lived here for over a year. This is presumably because, unlike marriages, divorces are costly legal ordeals involving joint property transfer that need to be dealt with in local jurisdictions. That’s a problem for same-sex couples who can’t get divorced in their local jurisdiction because their marriage isn’t recognized there in the first place.
It’s quite a pickle, really. Luckily there’s an elegant solution: Legalize equal marriage rights everywhere!
- Gay U.S. couples can’t get divorces for Canadian marriages [CBC News]
- Gay marriages easy but divorces are not [Canada.com]
Albanian Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, has proposed the nationwide legalisation of same-sex marriage last week. This would be a massive step forward for the country, where homosexuality was illegal as recent as 1995.
The move has surprised even gay rights groups, who had been fighting in smaller steps—most recently calling for laws against workplace discrimination.
Of course, there will still be a lot of work to be done in order to change deeply held misconceptions about gay people in Albania, but if all goes as it should, soon the country will achieve a level of equal rights matched only by the awesomeness of their flag!
Hat tip to Slap reader “Northern Piper” for the story!
The conservative Saskatchewan Party has decided to introduce legislation that will allow government-licensed civil marriage commissioners to deny their services to same-sex couples in the province.
Civil marriage commissioners perform public, non-religious marriage ceremonies for couples who do not wish to have a denominational wedding. They are also certified to issue marriage licenses themselves.
The legislation is coming as a response to a couple of marriage commissioners who refused to offer their public services to gay couples, claiming that issuing a same-sex civil marriage would violate their religious beliefs. Considering they’re not performing ceremonies on behalf of their personal religion, that may be a wee bit of a stretch.
But, hey, if this legislation takes effect, I can also refuse to serve anti-gay people, right?