Canada corrects divorce snafu

Timothy Kincaid

February 17th, 2012

Back in January there was ten seconds of panic when it appeared that the Conservative government might seek to invalidate same-sex marriages of non-Canadians. It proved to be either confusion or naive zealousness on the part of a government lawyer and not some plot on the part of Steven Harper and the Conservative leadership to undermine marriage equality.

As it turned out, the problem arose because Canadian law allows for non-residents to marry in Canada, but not divorce. This isn’t generally a problem as divorce isn’t exactly a destination-based activity (“no honey, let’s get divorced on a beach in Hawai’i”) and tend to file papers where they live. But same-sex couples who live in locals that don’t recognize their marriages were left in a strange limbo, married in some places, single in others, but unable to divorce anywhere.

The government promised to fix the legal glitch and confirm that they do recognize Canadian weddings between same-sex foreigners. They have now submitted a bill to do that.

According to the Vancouver Sun, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson stated that the bill was presented to fix “an anomaly in our civil-marriage laws” and that it would validate the marriages in question and that Canada would allow non-resident same-sex couples to divorce if the were married in Canada and unable to divorce in their place of residency.

Paul in Canada

February 21st, 2012

I’m not a legal expert, but there is some ‘discussion’ on blogs that there is no need for a ‘fix’ and that there is a larger hidden agenda at play. Might be worth exploring further.

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