Registered Partnerships are Offensive and Unworkable Segregation

“Furthermore, the federal government doesn’t even have the Constitutional authority to enact an effective partnership registry,” Mr. Arron continued. “All provincial laws dealing with relationship benefits would need to be amended. And only the provinces can amend provincial laws. So any federal RDP scheme could only deal with federal matters, like taxation and immigration.”


“Even if the federal, provincial and territorial governments somehow all got together to prohibit us from marrying but provide us with rights and responsibilities through some alternative scheme, registered partnerships would be a separate and unequal system that segregates same-sex couples. In fact, the courts have all likened registered partnerships to segregation.”
Justice Laforme of the Ontario Superior Court said:


“One cannot avoid the conclusion that offering benefits to gay and lesbian partners under a different scheme from heterosexual partners is a version of the separate but equal doctrine. That appalling doctrine must not be resuscitated in Canada four decades after its much-heralded death in the United States.”


“This is about access to a central legal and social institution,” said Lisa Lachance, President of Egale. “Registered partnerships don’t give same-sex couples that access. My same-sex partner and I are already married. A partnership registry would provide us with nothing we don’t already have, and would be a huge step backwards, sending the inescapable message that the government sees us as second-class citizens.”


“A federal RDP falls short of true equality,” said Gilles Marchildon, Executive Director of Egale. “Providing access to marriage is the only solution that is consistent with the Canadian value of accommodating a wide variety of beliefs while enhancing the participation of individuals and groups in society.”


“Equality should not be subject to a popularity contest,” he continued. “Throughout history, unpopular minorities have been singled out for discrimination. The government has said it’s time to end discrimination within the legal institution of marriage. If the Liberal leadership is sincere about its commitment to the principles of equality and human rights, it must stand firm in favour of equal marriage.”