The point at which the Canadian same-sex marriage policy should be beyond deliberation

Rinaldi, Jennifer
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University of Guelph

In this paper, I will argue that the Canadian same-sex marriage policy should be immunized from revision or overturning. I will support this claim by drawing upon deliberative democratic theory, a political theory which identifies principles that ought to structure democratic decision-making processes. Equality rights found in the 'Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms' ought to be extended to gay persons and lesbians, and these rights ought to apply to marriage law. Given that the rights of a minority group are at stake, the 2005 'Civil Marriage Act' is justified in having been passed and the 'Act' should be declared non-provisional. While there are procedures in place in order to reopen policy decisions, I will show that the procedures cannot justifiably be employed in this instance.

Canada, Same-sex marriage policy, deliberative democratic theory, equality rights, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms