Vital Statistics - Marriage Database

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1921

Reference period of change - 2003

Following provincial court rulings in 2003, vital statistics registries in Ontario and British Columbia started registering marriages of same-sex couples. In 2004, subsequent rulings by courts in five provinces (Québec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador) and one territory (Yukon) expanded the number of jurisdictions registering same-sex marriages. A court ruling in New Brunswick allowed same-sex marriages, a month before federal legislation legalized same-sex marriages across Canada, on July 20th, 2005. Starting with the year 2003, Statistics Canada will publish data on three types of marriages: opposite sex marriage, male same-sex marriage and female same-sex marriage.

Ontario marriage registration forms do not include a data element to identify whether the marriage is opposite-sex, male same-sex, or female same-sex.

Reference period of change - 2002

This is an administrative survey that collects demographic information annually from all provincial and territorial vital statistics registries on all marriages in Canada. There were no same-sex marriages in Canada prior to 2003.

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