Canada

Same-sex couple sues N.W.T.

A same-sex couple is suing the N.W.T. over the right to get married.

A same-sex couple in Yellowknife is suing the Northwest Territories government over the right to get married, saying that refusing them a licence is a violation of their charter rights.

The suit is the first of its kind in the N.W.T., though similar cases have been fought and won in other parts of Canada.

Though Jason Perrino and Colin Snow won't speak publicly, their statement of claim is clear. In it, Perrino says "Colin and I both wish to legalize our relationship ... It is my wish that my stepdaughter will grow up and recognize her dad and I are a real family.''

The case will be heard in the Territorial Supreme Court next Friday.

If the judge rules in their favour, all same-sex couples will be able to legally marry in the Northwest Territories.

Perrino and Snow's lawyer, Sheila MacPherson, says the odds are in their favour.

"The law is fairly well settled in this regard," she says. "I think it would be difficult to conceive we would not be successful."

The N.W.T., Nunavut, Alberta, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, are the only jurisdictions in Canada that don't recognize same-sex marriages.

However, if the federal government's "equal marriage" legislation passes, it will automatically make same-sex unions legal across the country.