NEWS: Sask. Court: Marriage Commissioners cannot refuse Gay Weddings

CBC - Saskatchewan Court rules for Same Sex Wedding equality

Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled that marriage commissioners who are public servants cannot refuse to marry same-sex couples.

The decision by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rejects two proposals from the provincial government that would allow some or all marriage commissioners to refuse to perform a service involving gay or lesbian partners if it offended their religious beliefs.

The government proposed that marriage commissioners who were employed before the law changed in 2004 could refuse to perform the services. It also proposed a second option where all marriage commissioners could refuse.

The court of appeal said the proposals were "contrary to fundamental principles of equality in a democratic society" and rejected both options.

"Both of the possible amendments offend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Either of them, if enacted, would violate the equality rights of gay and lesbian individuals," the court said in the 74-page ruling.