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Canadian parliament extends session to pass same-sex marriage bill

[JURIST] Canadian lawmakers will extend their current session into the summer to push through the contentious Civil Marriage Act [text], which would legalize same-sex marriage across Canada. Government Liberals thwarted the plan of opposition Conservatives, who have staunchly opposed the bill, to end the session on a final budget vote next week. Instead, Liberals allied with the New Democratic Party [offical website] and forced a sudden budget vote late Thursday, which passed 152 to 147 and brought the same-sex marriage bill to the forefront. A majority of Canadians support same-sex marriage legislation. A New Brunswick judge ruled Thursday that the definition of civil marriage as between a man and a woman violated the rights of gay persons, and would have to be changed to "between two persons" [CBC News report]. That decision leaves Prince Edward Island., Alberta and the Northwest Territories as the only remaining Canadian jurisdictions that do not recognize same-sex marriage. AFP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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