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Canada's gay-friendly Liberal Party survives vote in parliament

Canada's gay-friendly Liberal Party survives vote in parliament

In a victory observers are calling historic, Canada's reigning Liberal Party and Prime Minster Paul Martin survived a vote of confidence on Thursday by the slimmest of margins. But trouble may still lie ahead for Canada's gay-friendly Liberals. Canada's lower house voted 153-152--a simple one-vote margin--in favor of retaining Paul Martin's Liberal government. The vote was actually a tie, the first time in Canadian history for a confidence motion, leaving it to speaker of the house Peter Milliken, himself a Liberal, to break the tie. The pro-Liberal tally was aided not only by the support of the left-wing New Democratic Party but also by the vote of two of the house's three independents and by Ontario MP Belinda Stronach, a moderate who left the Conservative Party earlier this week in part because of what she sees as the extremist views of Conservative leader Stephen Harper, a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage. While Martin's Liberals and their agenda, including marriage equality, may have survived this week's vote, they are not out of the woods yet. The Conservatives will have an opportunity to call another confidence vote as early as May 31. And with the House so closely divided, the result of such a vote--and the future of this government--still remains uncertain. (Fred Kuhr, Advocate/Sirius OutQ News)

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