Friday, 13 January 2012

Same Sex Marriages For Foreigners Living In Canada Nullified?

You have probably all read, by now, the news stories from Jan 12th about how the Harper government has come out saying that marriages no longer count between gay couples who have come from countries where gay marriage is illegal.
This is not actually true.

What's true is that there is a current court case where a gay couple who do not live in Canada, came to Canada, got married and then left Canada, then came back to get a divorce. Now, since they did not reside in Canada after getting the marriage, the marriage is not recognized to be valid by Canadian law. This is no change in how the law has been for a very long time in Canada.

However, what is getting people upset, and justifiably so, is that, 
A) we know full well that the Harper government would love nothing better than for this law to be misinterpreted in the courts to mean that foreign gay couples who have continued to reside in Canada after being married here are no longer legally married.
B) Harper did absolutely nothing to reassure Canadians that gay couples living in Canada, who came to get married here and have stayed living in Canada, are still legally married and that what is happening in the court case right now will not affect them. He just said he was not aware of the court case.

A supporter of equal rights and gay marriage would have reassured Canadians regarding this issue in the courts. We know that Harper, his government, and his core supporters are vehemently against gay marriage and would do anything they could to set equality back in Canada.

Olivia Chow on gay marriage

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