TUESDAY
February 15, 2000
volume 11, no. 32
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

CANADA MULLS GIVING BENEFITS TO SAME-SEX COUPLES

    OTTAWA (CWNews.com) - Canada's Justice Minister on Friday introduced new legislation that would give the same benefits to same-sex couples as enjoyed by common-law couples, but without giving them the legal status of marriage.

    Justice Minister Anne McLellan's bill proposes changes to about 60 laws, essentially declaring homosexual and lesbian partnerships to have the same legal status as common-law couples, including pension benefits and income tax regulations, among others. McLellan said it represented "the modernization of both benefits and obligations." She said the Supreme Court made it "very clear ... that we have to ensure equal treatment between common-law same-sex and opposite-sex relations."

    McLellan said the definition of marriage is "very clear" in Canadian law. "Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. There is absolutely no confusion about that."

    Reform Party legislator Eric Lowther said there were weaknesses in the legislation. Under the bill, qualifying for benefits is "contingent upon private physical intimacy. There must be a conjugal type of relationship," he said. "That excludes a lot of people that might otherwise qualify (but) don't have a sexual relationship," he said. How would officials know whether "roommates are just roommates or people (in) a conjugal relationship?" The government should not be asking people "what's your private sex life," in order for them to qualify for benefits, Lowther said.

          

February 15, 2000
volume 11, no. 32
NEWS & VIEWS

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