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Friday, May 21, 1999Quotes
The Canadian Press
Here are some reactions to the Supreme Court ruling yesterday that same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual ones:
"It's 1999 and it's time that we treated people with equality and dignity regardless of their sexual orientation. The Supreme Court is just moving in pace with the reality of Canada in 1999."
- Glen Clark, B.C. Premier
"Is the caucus ready to deal with it? Yes, but I don't know if we're ready to go in that direction."
- Ralph Klein, Alberta Premier
"My sense is governments will comply . . . I'm not a fan of the notwithstanding clause at the best of times. We respect the Constitution of Canada."
- Mike Harris, Ontario Premier
"We believe in obeying the law and we've always respected Supreme Court decisions and I believe we will in this case as well. We'll take a look at everything under our jurisdiction and make sure it complies."
- Gary Filmon, Manitoba Premier
"In general terms, it's safe to say, Saskatchewan is well along the lines of complying with the provisions of the Supreme Court. If this is the law of the land, it is the law of the land."
- Roy Romanow, Saskatchewan Premier
"This decision will have quite an impact on Canadian law. Clearly this decision will have an impact on other legislation in Nova Scotia."
- Robbie Harrison, N.S. Justice Minister
"The court has upheld what our party is committed to: that gays and lesbians can and do form families and have rights but also responsibilities to support each other."
- Howard Hampton, Ontario NDP leader
"We had developed a strategy by which we will be compliant with existing jurisprudence in this area."
- Anne McLellan, Justice Minister
"What we're concerned about is that marriage be maintained as a union between a man and a woman. I don't think the notwithstanding [clause] really needs to be an issue. The key thing is that the voice of the people is heard on this."
- Eric Lowther, Reform family critic
"The issue is decided. It is the governments and politicians who are lagging behind. We urge them today to immediately bring all laws into compliance with the federal charter."
-Michel Douglas, Foundation for Equal Families
"I think this is a great day for our entire country. It's a wonderful day to be a Canadian and to know that our country is at the forefront of equality for the lesbian and gay community in the world."
- Douglas Elliott, lawyer for Foundation for Equal Families
"Truly the decision is an achievement for all people who care about equality. That is because we'll never achieve equality unless we challenge exclusionary notions of family."
- Martha McCarthy, M.'s lawyer
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