Same Sex Relationships

Until June 10, 2003, the definition of marriage in Ontario was “the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others.” On June 10, 2003, the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled that the exclusion of same-sex couples from the definition of marriage violated the guarantee of equality rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court redefined marriage to be “the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others.” This decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada on December 9, 2004. On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world and the first country outside Europe to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. On February 24, 2005, Ontario laws were amended to provide the same rights and obligations for same-sex married couples and same-sex common law partners as their heterosexual counterparts.

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