Court: Officials can't refuse to marry gays
Marriage commissioners in Canada's Saskatchewan province cannot refuse to marry same-sex couples, the Court of Appeal ruled Jan. 10.
The top court ruled in advance on a proposed law that would have let commissioners opt out of performing gay marriages for religious reasons.
The court said: "It is not difficult for most people to imagine the personal hurt involved in a situation where an individual is told by a governmental officer, 'I won't help you because you are black (or Asian or First Nations) but someone else will,' or 'I won't help you because you are Jewish (or Muslim or Buddhist) but someone else will.' Being told, 'I won't help you because you are gay/lesbian but someone else will' is no different."
The legislation was proposed after a commissioner who did not want to marry gays had exhausted legal options in appealing rulings against him.