Canada to revisit same-sex marriage issue next week

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Canadian House of Commons will re-open the debate on same-sex marriage next Wednesday, December 6th, when it debates a resolution to reconsider the Civil Marriage Act that was passed by the previous Liberal-led parliament in 2005. In the intervening election, the victorious Conservatives promised that if they were elected parliament would hold a free vote on whether to amend or repeal the Act.

Several surveys have suggested that MPs in the minority parliament will overwhelmingly reaffirm support for same-sex marriage once a vote has held. The pro-same sex marriage group Canadians for Equal Marriage estimates that the motion will be defeated by at least 35 votes. This has prompted supporters of same-sex marriage to urge that a vote be held as soon as possible while opponents of gay marriage have been urging the government to delay the vote until the next election, expected early in 2007, in hopes of the election of a Conservative majority that would repeal the act. A number of Conservative MPs and strategists have supported an early vote, however, in the belief that the same-sex issue would hurt the Tories in an election campaign by emphasizing a social conservative agenda that is unpopular in urban areas and Quebec.

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