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Youth
 
Alberta Bill to Ban Marriage Passes Second Reading
 
ONLINE:   THURSDAY FEBRUARY 24, 5:23 PM EST (GMT-5).

A private member's bill introduced into the Alberta legislature which proposes to ban gay and lesbian marriages has passed the second reading.

[It's] a waste of time and taxpayers' money
 
-Equal Alberta spokesperson
 
The bill, introduced by Red Deer MLA Victor Doerksen, sets to define marriage exclusively as being between a man and a woman, reported the Edmonton Sun today.

It would also allow the province of Alberta to invoke the "notwithstanding clause" in Canada's constitution in order to block any rights to marry should they be granted by the courts.

Although the bill passed second reading with a vote of 44-11 in the Conservative legislature, the Alberta Minister of Justice didn't vote for it himself.  "I believe that the concept of marriage and legislation for it - if there should be legislation for it - is a federal jurisdiction issue," Dave Hancock told the Sun.  "Inserting a definition into the provincial act doesn't really do anything, in my humble opinion," he added.

The rights group Equal Alberta dismissed the bill as insignificant as well.  Calling it "a waste of time and taxpayers' money," spokesperson Julie Lloyd said that the proposed federal changes do not include granting gay couples the right to marry so the actions of the provincial government are moot.

The bill was also not supported by Calgary Conservative MLA Richard Magnus.