Halpern Case Summary

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The Halpern case is concerned with the availability of the social element of marriage, in relation to conjugal couples in Canada. This essay will demonstrate the legal shift in Canada on the right to marriage for conjugal couples, as demonstrated from the Layland case to the Halpern case. This essay will address the cause of action for the appeal, the procedural history, the legal issues, and the resulting decision and subsequent remedy. The Halpern case allowed for the recognition of changing societal values, through the inclusion of same-sex couples in the reformulated common law definition of marriage. This analysis will demonstrate that the legal shift in the approach to same-sex marriage from the Layland case to the Halpern case can be…show more content…
2(a) or 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and whether it is justified under s. 1 of the Charter. 5. Decision and Remedy The decision in the case was that the violation of the lesbian and same-sex couples’ equality rights under s. 15(1) of the Charter were not justified under s. 1 of the Charter. As a result, the AGC’s appeals were dismissed, MCCT's cross-appeal relating to s. 2(a) of the Charter and s. 15(1) of the Charter on the basis of religion was dismissed, and the same-sex couples and lesbian couples’ cross-appeal and MCCT's cross-appeal on remedy were allowed. As a remedy, the court declared the existing common law definition of >one man and one woman” to be invalid to the extent that it refers to "one man and one woman”. The Court provided a new definition of marriage, as “the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others”, which was effective immediately. It was also ordered that the Clerk of the City of Toronto was to issue marriage licences to the Couples, and ordered the Registrar General of the Province of Ontario to accept for registration the marriage certificates of Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell and of Elaine and Anne…show more content…
This is contrary to Canada’s jurisprudence of a progressive constitutional interpretation. In the judges view, marriage does not have a constitutionally fixed meaning. s. (15) does produce a distinction between opposite-sex and same-sex couples. Provincial legislatures provide licensing and registration regimes so that the marriages of opposite-sex couples can be formally recognized by law. Same-sex couples are denied access to those licensing and registration regimes. Natural procreation is not a sufficiently pressing and substantial objective to justify infringing the equality rights of same-sex couples. Same-sex couples can have children by other means. The court concluded that the violation of the same-sex couples’ rights under s. 15(1) of the Charter cannot be saved under s. 1 of the

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