Canada’s Yukon Territory has become the most northern area of the world to legalise same-sex marriage, 365gay.com reported.
The Yukon, which shares borders with the Arctic Circle and Alaska, will see its first gay marriage this Saturday following a victory in the territorial Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Rob Edge and Stephen Dunbar went to court after they were refused a marriage license in Whitehorse, the Yukon capital. Their lawyer, Jim Tucker, argued that when the federal government decided not to appeal high court rulings in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec that said to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, the government was in effect agreeing that gay marriage is legal throughout Canada.
Tucker told the judge that agreeing with the court rulings in Canada’s three largest provinces the government by default changed the Common Law of Canada.
Justice Peter McIntyre agreed, striking down the traditional definition of marriage and ordering the government to immediately issue the couple with a license.
The judge also ordered that federal government and the Yukon Territorial government must pay all legal costs in the case.
Stephen and I are very happy, Edge told 365gay.com. Our wedding this Saturday will be one of the most important days of our lives, symbolic of the commitment we feel for each other and wish to demonstrate to our friends, our family, and our community.
Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie praised the court, saying the judge’s decision demonstrates how courts can be used to extend freedoms to all Canadians.
I think it’s great when due process can reach these conclusions on behalf of any particular group of citizens in this country. It shows this country is very open to all views and I think that’s a good thing and the Yukon is no different, Fentie told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.