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More than 3,000 same-sex couples had already married in those areas before the Civil Marriage Act was passed.
Most legal benefits commonly associated with marriage had been extended to cohabiting same-sex couples since 1999.
Given the composition of the House of Commons at the time, such a measure would have been very unlikely to pass. As a result, rights varied somewhat from province to province.
Conservative Alberta Premier Ralph Klein proposed putting the question to the public at large via a national referendum, In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in M. On January 14, 2001, Reverend Brent Hawkes forced the issue by performing two same-sex marriages, taking advantage of the fact that Ontario law authorizes him to perform marriages without a previous license, via the issuance of banns of marriage.
Federal lawyers had ceased to contest such cases, A draft of what would become Bill C-38 was released on July 17, 2003, by the Liberal minister of justice, Martin Cauchon.
In 20, decisions in the superior trial courts of Ontario and Quebec held that the restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples was discriminatory and contrary to the equality clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms, while the superior trial court of British Columbia ruled oppositely.