A legal definition of what constitutes consummation of gay marriage, or its breakdown through adultery, is proving so elusive that ministers may leave it up to judges to decide. The government has promised to deliver rights for gay couples — apart from church weddings — that are identical to those for heterosexual couples. Fuller proposals are expected to be unveiled on Tuesday after months of consultations with campaign groups, family lawyers and sex experts. The search for a definition of consummation and adultery — neither of which are precisely formulated in the Matrimonial Causes Act — has been dismissed by equality activists as an irrelevance.
Same-sex marriage is the legal union between two people of the same gender. Throughout history, same sex unions have taken place around the world, but laws recognizing such marriages did not start occurring until more modern times. As of , only 17 countries around the globe have laws allowing same sex couples to become legally married. Support in some countries that do not allow same sex marriage is rising, however, which leads many to believe that acceptance will continue to grow.
In July , Canada became the fourth country in the world, after the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain, to legalize same-sex marriages nationwide. This new legal status for gays and lesbians has been a controversial issue in Canada, both in the public and in Parliament. This article provides a historical and legal overview of same-sex marriage in Canada.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the plaintiffs asked "for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. Same-sex couples in several affected states including Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Texas rushed to wed on Friday.