An appeals court in Canada’s Saskatchewan province has ruled that marriage commissioners cannot opt out of performing same-sex nuptials because of religious objections.
The decision is in response to a proposed law, which had two versions: One would allow any marriage commissioner to not perform a same-sex wedding because of his or her religion; the other version would allow commissioners to opt out of performing a same-sex ceremony only if they were commissioners before Canada enacted marriage equality in 2004.
The Monday ruling declared that both versions run contrary to Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“Either of them, if enacted, would violate the equality rights of gay and lesbian individuals,” the ruling stated. “This violation would not be reasonable and justifiable within the meaning of s. 1 of the Charter. As a result, if put in place, either option would be unconstitutional and of no force or effect.”
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