With so many people who are wondering whether or not gay marriages are legal in Canada, it is only fair that we give an answer to this. So yes, same sex marriages are legal in Canada. Under the same topic, the nation became the fourth country in the entire world after the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.
After legalizing gay marriages, it became a controversial issue in all of Canada. In fact, this greatly shaped the way the country treated its gay and lesbian members over the last 50 years. Back in the 1960s, men who were caught engaging in homosexual activities faced criminal charges and imprisonment. Homosexuality was considered a criminal offense back then and once caught, individuals were charged as sex offenders. They could even be imprisoned for a longer period of time.
A Free Man
One suitable example to how Canada has changed in treating their homosexual countrymen is the case of Everett Klippert, who in 1965 was interrogated by the police due to an arson investigation. At the time of his capture, Klippert admitted to being involved in homosexual activities with several men for a couple of years. When his doctors discovered stopping such acts were unlikely for him, Klippert was charged and convicted as a dangerous sexual offender. He was then sentenced to imprisonment for an indefinite period. The case became a huge public ordeal throughout Canada. People everywhere discussed the issue about homosexuality and whether or not it would be just to imprison men for engaging themselves in such acts.
It was in 1969 when the Federal Liberal Government instituted sweeping reforms of the country’s criminal laws. This included decriminalizing homosexuality. Due to the influence of Pierre Trudeau, the Justice Minister during the time, the importance of individual freedom in the context of sexuality was given importance.
“It’s bringing the laws of the land up to contemporary society I think. Take this thing on homosexuality. I think the view we take here is that there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation. I think that what’s done in private between adults doesn’t concern the Criminal Code. When it becomes public this is a different matter, or when it relates to minors this is a different matter.”
A couple of years later, Klippert was released from prison.
Canada and Section 15
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Under Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, same sex marriages were found as part of equality. In context, this translated to a judicial ruling to eliminate discrimination based on an individual’s sexuality.
The legalization of same sex marriages in Canada proves that the country has matured and has accepted this change.
Here is a timeline of the important historical dates centering the topic of sexuality and equality: