Cambridge same-sex marriage ceremonies to change
Published Tuesday, September 11, 2012 2:17PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 11, 2012 6:42PM EDT
Changes are coming to same-sex marriage ceremonies at Cambridge City Hall after concerns were raised at council.
A number of delegations complained to council because the city’s current reverend, Jay Brown, doesn’t perform same-sex marriages and a replacement had to be called in to conduct them instead.
Cambridge resident Susan Howard says “This is city hall, public funds being spent, we have laws that clearly make same-sex marriage on par and equal with and the same as heterosexual marriages and so why should they be treated any differently?”
Brown has performed marriages at city hall for 15 years and she says that while she has friends that are gay, her church doesn’t allow her to marry same-sex couples.
Like Howard, many believe that’s discriminatory, and a majority of city councillors have agreed that the situation needs to change.
By a vote of eight to one, council has decided to look for a new minister to perform marriages at city hall, one who will marry all couples.
Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig says “We have a really fine minister, who by her religious beliefs has to pass off the same-sex marriages. We have decided that…we have to move now in terms of looking for an individual that can’t discriminate in terms of preference.”
Craig says the move is necessary under the requirements of Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
The mayor added that until the matter was brought to council’s attention, he wasn’t aware of any previous complaints.