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Canadian Senate approves gay marriage bill

[JURIST] The Canadian Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would make Canada the fourth nation in the world to legalize gay marriage after the Netherlands, Belgium, and, most recently, Spain [JURIST report]. Bill C-38 [text], which passed the House of Commons [JURIST report] in late June, now goes to Canada's Governor-General [official website] for royal assent in the name of the Queen and could be approved as early as Wednesday. The legislation was introduced by the minority Liberal government of Prime Minister Paul Martin after courts in seven provinces ruled that the country's traditional definition of marriage violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text]. Members of the oppositon Conservative Party have fought to prevent passage [JURIST report] of the bill and Catholic leaders strongly oppose it [LA Times report]. The Toronto Globe and Mail has local coverage.

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