[JURIST] Canadian Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official profile] has said that he intends to fulfill a campaign promise and hold a free vote in the Canadian Parliament about whether to revive debate on a federal law permitting same-sex marriages [text] that was passed [JURIST report] last summer by the Liberal Party government of former Prime Minister Paul Martin. More outspoken members of the Conservative caucus are pushing the vote to pave the way for new legislation limiting legal marriages to those between a man and a woman. Justice Minister Vic Toews [official profile] has promised a vote "sooner rather than later," but no action is likely to be taken until the fall, and activists continue to call on the government to drop the plan [Canadians for Equal Marriage press release], saying the issue of same-sex marriage has already been decided. Critics claim that the issue is not a priority for Canadians, citing a January poll [PDF text] by Environics Research Group revealing that 66 percent of those surveyed did not want the matter of same-sex marriages brought back to Parliament for a vote. CTV has more.
Other countries that have legalized same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] include Spain [JURIST report], Belgium and the Netherlands.