TORONTO, On October 29, 2011 – On Friday December 28, the leaders of the Commonwealth approved a motion that would make succession to the Crown based on age rather than gender, and would allow heirs to the throne to marry a Catholic without losing their place in the succession. As one of the Commonwealth nations that recognizes the Queen as head of state, Canada is a signatory to the motion.
“It’s easy to joke about the Act of Settlement when it affects so very few “candidates” compared to the issues of religious freedom and civil rights that the League usually addresses,” said Joanne McGarry, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League. “Nevertheless, it has been one of the very few pieces of legislation, if not the only one, that explicitly discriminates against Catholics. In that sense, it is refreshing to see a law that affects Canada being updated to reflect a better standard of fairness to all religions and finally put an end to an officially-sanctioned discrimination that should have been put behind us years ago.”