moved for leave to introduce Bill C-392, an act to amend the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees) Act and the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act.
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of tabling this bill once again in the House, the purpose of which is to modernize the definition of marriage to include same sex spouses, in other words, to allow those gay and lesbian people who choose to marry their partner, to have the option of doing so.
The purpose of the bill is to reflect recent decisions of both the Ontario and Quebec courts that have extended marriage to include same sex couples. They have recognized that, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation includes the right of gay and lesbian people to marry.
I want to point out very briefly that this will not in any way weaken the institution of marriage, but rather it will strengthen marriage by making it more inclusive and more reflective of the diversity of Canadian families.
I want to thank the member for Vancouver East for seconding this important bill today on the eve of Valentine's Day, a bill which will ensure that all couples, gay, lesbian and straight, have the opportunity to celebrate their committed, loving relationships through marriage.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)