This March 1996 paper argues that the common law prohibition of same sex marriage violates rights protected by both the Charter and Human Rights legislation and is inappropriate in Canadian pluralistic modern society. First, this paper argues that the common law prohibition of same-sex marriage discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and violates parties’ constitutional right to equality protected by s.15(1) of the Charter. Second, it argues that the common law rule violates s.7 of the Charter in that it encroaches on the right to liberty of same-sex partners by insulting their dignity as human beings. Third, it argues that the denial of marriage licences to same sex couples is a violation of s.1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19. Fourth, it argues that the common law rule violates numerous international human rights conventions to which Canada is a signatory.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stacey_r_jessiman/2/