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Canadian same-sex marriage bill passes second vote

[JURIST] The Canadian House of Commons Wednesday voted to give second reading to Bill C-38 [text, in English and French], a measure to implement the Civil Marriage Act [Canadian Dept. of Justice backgrounder] and extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. The bill, proposed by the ruling Liberal government, must now be reviewed by a legislative committee before a third and final vote. Courts in seven Canadian provinces and one territory have already ruled in favor of same-sex marriages, stating that the rights of gays and lesbians to marry are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text]. Bill C-38 passed first reading [JURIST report] by a vote of 164-132. Bill C-38 has come under fire from the opposition Conservative Party, which has repeatedly attempted to kill it or at amendment add an amendment [JURIST report] limiting it to marriage between a man and a woman. The bill has even been attacked by advocacy groups in the US [JURIST report]. It is unclear, however, whether the legislation will actually pass the Commons this time as the Liberal government is in a tenuous minority situation and the Conservatives have vowed to try to bring it down later this month in a no-confidence vote, in which case the bill would die on the table. CTV has more.

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