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The court agreed with the lower court that the traditional definition of marriage was discriminatory and that same-sex marriage was legally permitted.However, unlike the previous three court decisions, the Court of Appeal did not suspend its decision to allow Parliament to consider the issue.
As of the given dates, the legality was authoritatively established.The decision of the Ontario government to recognize two marriages that took place in Toronto on January 14, 2001, retroactively makes Canada the first country in the world to have a government-legitimized same-sex marriage (the Netherlands and Belgium, which legalized same-sex marriage before Canada, had their first in April 2001 and June 2003, respectively).Same-sex marriage was originally recognized by law as a result of cases in which courts in eight out of ten of Canada's provinces, and in one of its three territories, ruled existing bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.Defeat of the bill in Parliament would have continued the status quo and probably incremental legalization, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, via court challenges. However, this decision stopped short of giving them the right to full legal marriage.This trend could have been reversed only through Parliament passing a new law that explicitly restricted marriage to opposite-sex couples notwithstanding the protection of equality rights afforded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or by amending the Canadian Constitution by inserting the clause "marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman", as was recommended by several conservative religious groups and politicians. Most laws which affect couples are within provincial rather than federal jurisdiction.