Jan 13, 2012 –
The Globe and Mail has just published the Government’s announcement that ALL same-sex marriages performed in Canada are legal and valid in Canada.
All same sex marriages performed in Canada are legal and the law will be changed to ensure that divorce is readily available to non-residents who were married in the country, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says.
Speaking at a Toronto luncheon Friday, Mr. Nicholson blamed the Liberal government that preceded his for not filling a “legislative gap” that has left thousands of same-sex couples in an agonizing position of being unable to divorce should they feel a need to.
read the rest in the Globe and Mail here.
ORIGINAL POST CONTINUES BELOW:
Today came disturbing news that government lawyers in Canada argued in a case involving an American couple married in Toronto that no divorce was necessary because the marriage was invalid to begin with. The reason? Because, according to the lawyers, if the country that the couple comes from doesn’t allow same-sex marriage then the marriage is invalid in Canada too. There was a more obvious ( though stupid) one-year residency requirement for divorce they could have cited but they chose to bring up that bizarre argument.
So according to these legal luminaries a marriage performed in CANADA isn’t even legal in CANADA if the couple could not get married in …I dunno… Saudi Arabia? I think the idiots need to understand something about sovereign nations – they make their own laws. The couple is married the second they enter Canadian airspace and likely to be put to death for being gay in their homeland. Very simple. As Dan Savage pointed out in one article, is Canada going to tell a straight Saudi/Jewish couple they can’t marry in Canada because it isn’t allowed in Saudi Arabia?
CBC News had a couple of stories on the subject to open the news this evening and I recorded the second story about how same-sex couples ( including Dan Savage) are reacting to this Harper government encouraged stupidity. Apologies for the quality as I recorded it off the screen on my mobile.
I totally agree with Dan Savage’s reaction to the issue as posted on George Stroumboulopoulos of the CBC’s website :
“Sorry, motherfucker, but this “issue”–the civil equality of gays and lesbians–is wide open now and your fucking government opened it. The debate over same-sex marriage and the civil equality of gays and lesbians has been returned to the frontpages of Canada’s newspapers and a renewed debate over same-sex marriage will dominate Canadian television and radio news programs. And Canada’s religious conservatives will doubtless complain–loud and long–about their precious children having to hear about homosexuality every time they turn on the news. Stephen Harper’s government reopened this issue, not the gays, and Stephen Harper’s government deserves the blame.”
Read the article here ( I un-gentrified the words as I am 100% sure Dan would have used the actual words)
Egale Canada gave their take online as well.
Toronto: Canada’s federal Department of Justice has made a conscious decision to intervene in a case that challenges the validity of thousands of marriages. According to their arguments same-sex marriages performed in Canada between non-citizens whose countries of origin do not recognize marriage equality are not now and have never been legally valid. A direct insult to gays and lesbians both in Canada and abroad, this action reflects either complete neglect of the government’s responsibilities over the past seven years, or a direct attack on the principle of equality in Canadian law.
Since 2004, governments across Canada have issued marriage licences to same-sex couples coming from abroad. Never were any of these couples informed that Canada had no intention of recognizing the marriage licences it was issuing.
Egale Canada calls on the federal government to come clean: have thousands of same-sex couples been misled by Canadian officials for nearly eight years, or has the federal government adopted a policy of surreptitiously attacking the rights of gays and lesbians through disingenuous legal interventions?
This most recent case comes as the federal government is also intervening in an Ontario case to argue that two Canadian citizens who entered into a same-sex civil partnership in the UK–an equivalent to marriage in all but name–are not legally married in Canada and therefore cannot be granted a divorce.
“Not only does this throw into question hundreds of legal rights such as property, spousal support and child custody, it is a betrayal of basic human rights,” said Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada. “It is indefensible for the Government of Canada to play politics with people’s human dignity.”
Egale is Canada’s LGBT human rights organization: advancing equality, diversity, education, and justice.
I want to write a lot more but I have been angry all day about, once again, Stephen Harper trying to turn one of the most progressive countries in the world – MY country – back to the 1950s. I take some comfort from knowing that 60% of Canadians did not vote for this vile politician and his gang of evil clowns.
In the meantime why not visit sorryworld.ca (thanks to my pal Ben Rene in Ottawa for the link).