Alberta's opposition filibuster anti-gay marriage bill

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Legislation concerning civil officials who refuse to perform same-sex marriages has been filibustered in the province of Alberta.

18 months ago, in response to federal legislation tabled by then Prime Minister Paul Martin, the conservative premier of Alberta, Ralph Klein, promised that he would draft legislation to protect the "traditional" definition of marriage (that of one man to one woman). Klein had threatened to use the constitution's notwithstanding clause to veto the federal legislation in the province.

The original civil marriage bill, tabled under the Liberal minority government, eventually received approval, including the support of the Bloc Québécois. Afterwards, the conservative government of Klein threatened to draft counter-legislation following the passage of the federal legislation into law, however no such legislation ever materialized, prompting Foothills-Rocky View Tory MLA Ted Morton to draft his own legislation and introduce the bill as a backbencher.

In order for the bill to be debated again, the provincial legislature would have to sit again before the Autumn, which it is not scheduled to do.