The Track to Freedom: Canada’s Path to Legal Same-sex Marriage Compared to The United States

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Curtis, Darren
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2018-05
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INTRODUCTION
In 2015 the United States Supreme Court released one of the most celebrated opinions of our time, Obergefel v. Hodges. Because of this holding, same-sex couples can now enjoy the social and financial benefits of marriage. The northern neighbors of the United States, Canada, legalized same-sex marriage more than ten years earlier by passing a national act. The two different paths these countries endured to legalize same-sex marriage resulted in different consequences. The path the United States endured to legalize same-sex marriage allowed for sexual orientation discrimination to continue, but in Canada the process employed to legalize same-sex marriage disallowed such discrimination. Though the two countries’ governments vary, the two neighboring countries have similarities to validate the comparison.
This article proceeds in three sections. First, the background will describe the similarities and differences between the Canadian government and United States government for purpose of comparison. Then the background examines a brief history, which is broken into two parts (1) the United States path to legalize same-sex marriage and (2) Canada’s path to legalize same-sex marriage. This history will entail what arguments those that opposed such laws and opinions presented at the time of the decisions. This section also will present the differing legal issues that derive from legalizing same-sex marriage in both countries. Then the article advances the argument, comparing the two paths Canada and the United States employed to legalize same-sex marriage. The argument will address which path resulted in the most benefits, as well as a comparison of the consequence both countries face.
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Creighton University School of Law
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