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Harper denies changing stance on same-sex marriage

Government lawyer questions whether the Canadian marriage of a non-resident lesbian couple is valid


 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper denied Ottawa is reconsidering its position on same-sex marriage, after a government lawyer filed a submission suggesting that same-sex marriages performed in Canada are not valid for non-residents, CBC reports. The submission was filed in a divorce case involving a lesbian couple from Florida and the U.K. While Canadian marriage laws do not require residency, divorce laws do. This inconsistency has particular relevance for same-sex couples, who may not be able to divorce after being married in Canada. Harper said the submission does not represent a re-visiting of the same-sex marriage debate. At a ship-building event in Halifax, the prime minister said, “We have no intention of further reopening or opening this issue,” while noting that he did not know of the details of the particular case in question.

CBC


 
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Harper denies changing stance on same-sex marriage

  1. i.e. if you’re a same-sex couple coming to Canada just to get married, you’d better take “til death do us part” seriously…

  2. The Conservative government is being–put nicely–disingenuous (as usual, I guess).  There is no problem with the law on marriage; Canada has no residency requirements for it.  Tourist marriages are as legal as every marriage conducted here.  The Civil Marriage Act, and the (mostly) common law affecting marriage says, and cares, nothing about the law elsewhere, nor should it. The difference arises only if the occasion arises for an application for divorce, for which there is a residency requirement.  How to explain those federal lawyers arguing that this affects same-sex marriage?  The Harper government has been staffing the Justice Department with religiously conservative graduates from the likes of Trinity College, in an effort to re-weave Canada’s social fabric in their own image (and pleasing the government’s nut core and their generous friends in the U.S.).  Their initiative in this case was incredibly stupid, but they are, after all, lawyers, and with God, anything is possible.

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