TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2004 – The Catholic Civil Rights League ( today denounced a decision by the Ontario Superior Court to grant a divorce to a same sex couple.

The two lesbians, whose identities are being kept secret, were married shortly after the Ontario Court of Appeal made same sex marriages legal in June, 2003. They sought a divorce less than a week after the wedding.

“We’ve said all along that there would be countless implications to any change in the definition of spouse, and the divorce law is just one example,” said Philip Horgan, a Toronto lawyer and vice president of CCRL. “This decision could help spell the end of traditional marriage unless there is a real groundswell of opposition. We urge all our members and supporters to keep sending messages of support to MPs who support traditional marriage, and to urge other MPs to do so.”

In the judgement, Madam Justice Ruth Mesbur ruled that the Divorce Act’s definition of “spouse” is “unconstitutional, inoperative and of no force and effect.”

Mr. Horgan said CCRL will proceed with its intervention in October on the Supreme Court reference on the definition of marriage, and a related question on the rights of religious groups to define marriage in their own terms. “It’s unfortunate that courts are continuing to issue judgements in favour of same sex marriage when the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on this reference.”          

About CCRL

Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information: Joanne McGarry