Same-sex marriage in Nova Scotia
dates from August 2004, when three couples in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...
brought the suit Boutilier et al. v. Canada (A.G) and Nova Scotia (A.G)
against the provincial and federal governments requesting that it issue same-sex marriage licences.
The partners who brought suit were:
- Brian Mombourquette and Ross Bouthilier
- Kim Vance and Samantha Meehan, (married in Toronto
The first legal same-sex marriages performed in Ontario were of Kevin Bourassa to Joe Varnell, and Elaine Vautour to Anne Vautour, by Rev. Brent Hawkes on January 14, 2001....
in 2003 and seeking recognition of the marriage at home in Nova Scotia)
- Ron and Bryan Garnett-Doucette.
The couples were represented by Halifax lawyer Sean Foreman of Wickwire Holm.
On September 24, 2004, Justice Heather Robertson of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court
The Nova Scotia Supreme Court is a superior court in the province of Nova Scotia.The Court comprises the Chief Justice , the Associate Chief justice, twenty-one judges and six supernumerary Justices, who sit in 18 different locations around the province.-Jurisdiction:As with all superior courts...
ruled that banning such marriages was unconstitutional and ordered the province to recognize same-sex unions.
Neither the federal nor the provincial governments opposed the ruling, continuing the trend set with the Yukon
Same-sex marriage in Yukon began on July 14, 2004, when Yukon Territory became the fourth jurisdiction in Canada to legalize same-sex marriage, after the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec....
Same-sex marriage in Manitoba began on September 16, 2004, when Manitoba became the fifth jurisdiction in Canada to legalize same-sex marriage, after the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, and Yukon Territory....
rulings. The Nova Scotia justice minister said, "We certainly did not want to waste taxpayers' money." However, Premier John Hamm
John Frederick Hamm, is a Canadian physician and politician and was the 25th Premier of Nova Scotia, Canada.Hamm, a graduate of the University of King's College and Dalhousie University, was a family doctor in his hometown of Stellarton, Nova Scotia, and the president of the Nova Scotia Medical...
did not say whether he supports same-sex marriage.
An odd proviso to the post-ruling status was that, until a formal change of the provincial Solemnization of Marriage Act
, the Minister of Justice still required the terms "husband and wife" to be used by Justices of the Peace in any wedding. This stance by the Justice Department was categorized by some as heterosexist
Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior...
. Shortly afterwards, following warnings of further legal action by the couples' lawyer, the policy was changed to remove that requirement.