REGINA, Saskatchewan, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A Canadian appeals court in Saskatchewan ruled Monday that marriage commissioners cannot refuse same-sex couples seeking civil weddings.
The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal said two proposed laws would be unconstitutional: one that would allow marriage commissioners to reject same-sex couples and one that would give the same power just to those commissioners in office at the time gay marriage was legalized in the province in 2004, Postmedia News reported.
The court said such laws would violate the equal rights of gays and lesbians, the report said.
The province's top court has been considering the constitutional question since May.
Parliament enacted a law in 2005 redefining marriage to include same-sex unions. But some marriage commissioners in Saskatchewan have refused to allow gay marriages on religious grounds, the report said.
"An important precedent has now been set that will help to deter discrimination against same-sex couples that wish to marry," Postmedia News reported Donna Smith, a member of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labor's Solidarity and Pride Committee, said in a news release.