Anne Vautour, left, places a ring on the finger of Elaine Vautour during a ceremony conducted by Rev. Brent Hawkes at the Metropolitan Community Church on Jan. 14, 2001. They were one of two gay couples married by the church that day.
The institution of marriage is a universal concept based on the union of man and woman and cannot be extended to gay and lesbian couples, a government lawyer argued today as seven same-sex couples sought the right to legally wed.
"Marriage has never changed its core attributes attached to its constant of an opposite-sex relationship," Roslyn Levine said on behalf of the attorney general of Canada.
"I don't think we're at a place in our world history where we can say gender is irrelevant."
From humanity's earliest notions about marriage, the concept has always been based on two genders brought together, built on the three ideals of children, permanency and fidelity, Levine told Ontario's Court of Appeal.