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Rainbow postal stamp honors same-sex marriage in Canada

© Canada Post/AFP | A special edition rainbow stamp from Canada Post pays tribute to the long LGBT battle for equal marriage rights

OTTAWA (AFP) - 

Canada Post unveiled a rainbow-colored stamp Wednesday to celebrate the nation's recognition of same-sex marriage more than a decade ago, as part of the country's 150th anniversary celebrations.

The maple leaf-shaped stamp has printed on it the words "marriage equality" and 2005 -- the year parliament amended Canada's marriage law to allow same-sex couples to wed.

In a statement, Canada Post paid tribute to the long battle waged by LGBT activists "for the rights of their communities, including the right to marry."

The fight began to bear fruit in the late 1990s when Ottawa changed the law to specifically ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The city of Toronto's subsequent refusal to issue marriage licenses to two same-sex couples in 2001 led to heated court battles and public debate, and the courts eventually ruled that a ban gay marriage was a violation of constitutional rights.

The rainbow stamp is the fourth in a set of 10 highlighting historic moments in Canada's last 50 years. Others included the unveiling of the space robot known as Canadarm, the 1967 World Exposition in Montreal and the repatriation of the constitution from Britain.

© 2017 AFP