[JURIST] The Canadian Parliament [official website] will revisit the issue of same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] next week, with debate on a federal law permitting same-sex marriage [text] scheduled to begin in the House of Commons Wednesday. The ruling Conservative Party [official website] in June promised to reconsider the law [JURIST report], which was passed in 2005 [JURIST report] under the leadership of former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin. MPs will be debating whether to reconsider the law and a vote could come later next week.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website] said in June that he would allow a free vote, which permits members to vote according to their conscience rather than along party lines. Current projections show that most Canadian federal lawmakers support same-sex marriage [tracking website], and a January 2006 poll [PDF text] by Environics Research Group revealed that 66 percent of those surveyed did not want the matter of same-sex marriages brought back to Parliament. When the federal law passed in 2005, Canada became the fourth country after the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium to recognize same-sex marriage. Reuters has more.