HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Nova Scotia has became the sixth Canadian province to grant same-sex marriage rights to LGBT couples.
Justice M. Heather Robertson of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia ruled this week that the definition of marriage must be “the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.”
Metropolitan Community Church members Brian Mombourquette and Ross Boutilier were one of three couples that filed the lawsuit in Nova Scotia. Both are active members of Safe Harbour MCC, where the Rev. Darlene Young is senior pastor.
Another Safe Harbour MCC member, Bob Fougere, is Coordinator of Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project, one of the social justice groups that filed the lawsuit leading to this latest victory.
“MCC has a long and proud tradition of activism on behalf of marriage equality,” said the Rev. Dr. Troy D. Perry, Founder and Moderator of MCC. Perry and his partner, Phillip Ray De Blieck were married in Toronto in July 2003. “Today I salute the leaders of Safe Harbour Metropolitan Community Church who won yet another significant legal victory for the LGBT community in Canada.”
Perry performed the first same-sex wedding in the U.S. in 1969 and in 1970 filed the first ever lawsuit seeking U.S. recognition for same-sex marriages. Perry lost that lawsuit, but launched the U.S. movement for same-sex marriage equality. A lawsuit filed by Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, won the right for LGBT couples to marry in Ontario in 2003 and launched a nationwide marriage equality movement across Canada.
This week, Nova Scotia joins the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, the Yukon, and Manitoba in granting full legal recognition to same-sex marriages. Premier John Hamm has announced that he will abide by the court’s decision. The couples’ application was not opposed by either the federal or Nova Scotia governments.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to MCC leaders such as Brian Mombourquette and Ross Boutilier, Bob Fougere, Rev. Darlene Young, Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, and so many other MCCers who are joining hands with Canadian social justice groups to expand freedom and equality for all Canadians,” said MCC’s Perry. “Canada’s provinces are setting an example for states in the U.S., and for countries around the world, to follow. Everywhere I go, I tell people, ‘Thank God for Canada!'”