Yes, it is still legal in Canada! On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage across the country.
In British Columbia, same-sex marriage rights were actually gained two years earlier in July 2003 when the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that British Columbia must follow Ontario who had a month earlier been the first Province to legalize same-sex marriages.
Since that time thousands of gay and lesbian men and women have tied the knot in Vancouver and contrary to some right-wing religious views Canadian society has not suffered as a result!
We hope the following will provide some information for those same-sex couples interested in getting married in Vancouver.
How to Get Married
The British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency is the local agency responsible for marriages in British Columbia (and subsequently Vancouver). The Vital Statistics Agency publishes an online guide to getting married in British Columbia which contains all the legal requirements and information you need to get married.
Marriages in British Columbia can be either conducted as civil or religious ceremonies. GayVancouver.Net (Gay Vancouver Online) understands religious beliefs can be very personal and we do not carry any recommendations for religious organizations that might conduct same-sex marriages other than perhaps those in listed in our community directory.
We do, however, have a listing of Marriage Commissioners in the Vancouver area. Marriage Commissioners are appointed by the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency and conduct civil ceremonies.
Like their straight counter-parts, same-sex weddings have become big business locally. Our online same-sex wedding resource listings has a plethora of businesses and services for same-sex weddings.
As heterosexual marriages are generally recognized universally, heterosexual couples who marry in Canada can file for divorce in their home country or state. As same-sex marriages from Canada are recognized in only a few jurisdictions around the world, the only way for the vast majority of these same-sex marriages to legally divorce is in Canada. However, Canadian law requires at least one of the couple to live in Canada for a year. A recent Vancouver Sun article talks more about this issue for same-sex couples looking to marry in Canada.