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Given the Supreme Court ruling, the role of precedent in Canadian law, and the overall legal climate, it was very likely that any challenges to legalize same-sex marriage in the remaining four jurisdictions would be successful as well.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.On May 1, 2003, the British Columbia Court of Appeal reversed the superior court decision.Same-sex marriage in Canada was progressively introduced in several provinces by court decisions beginning in 2003 before being legally recognized nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act on July 20, 2005.On June 10, 2003, the Court of Appeal for Ontario issued a decision immediately legalizing same-sex marriage in Ontario, thereby becoming the first province where it was legal.The decision of the Ontario government to recognize two marriages that took place in Toronto on January 14, 2001, retroactively makes Canada the first country in the world to have a government-legitimized same-sex marriage (the Netherlands and Belgium, which legalized same-sex marriage before Canada, had their first in April 2001 and June 2003, respectively).Same-sex marriage was originally recognized by law as a result of cases in which courts in eight out of ten of Canada's provinces, and in one of its three territories, ruled existing bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Most legal benefits commonly associated with marriage had been extended to cohabiting same-sex couples since 1999.Following the Supreme Court's decision, Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, introduced Bill C-38 on February 1, 2005, to legalize marriage between persons of the same sex across Canada.The Paul Martin government supported the bill but allowed a free vote by its backbench MPs in the House of Commons. 3 that same-sex couples in Canada were entitled to receive many of the financial and legal benefits commonly associated with marriage.Until the passage of Bill C-38, the previous definition of marriage remained binding in the four jurisdictions (two provinces, two territories) where courts had not yet ruled it unconstitutional, but void in the nine jurisdictions (eight provinces, one territory) where it had been successfully challenged before the courts.Before the enactment of federal legislation recognizing same-sex marriage, therefore, the application of federal marriage law differed depending on the province or territory.

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