Same-sex marriage law to be changed to recognize gay tourists
NationalPost.com – news – Postmedia News
Jan 13, 2012. By Thandi Fletcher
OTTAWA — The federal government is working quickly to change the law so that the marriages of the thousands of gay couples who travel to Canada to wed are legally recognized in this country.
“We want to make it very clear that in our government’s view, these marriages should be valid,” a senior government official said on Friday.
“That’s why we will change the Civil Marriage Act so that any marriages performed in Canada that aren’t recognized in the couple’s home jurisdiction will be recognized in Canada.”
The legislative change will apply to all marriages performed in Canada regardless of the laws of the jurisdiction in which the couple live, the official said.
Their marriage is not recognized in Canada if it is not recognized in their home jurisdictions — in this case, Florida and England, the lawyer said.
However, under the current law, marriages of non-Canadian residents performed in Canada cannot be dissolved in Canada.
Under the Divorce Act, there is a residency requirement that a couple must live in the country for at least one year in order to divorce here.
The government will not be looking at changes to the Divorce Act, as that legislation is much more complicated, a senior government official told Postmedia News earlier on Friday.
Instead, the official said the government would explore other options of dissolving marriages for same-sex couples that do not live in Canada.
On Friday, Nicholson repeated what he and Prime Minister Stephen Harper made clear on Thursday, that the issue of same-sex marriage is not on the Conservative government’s agenda.
“We have been clear that we have no desire to reopen this issue”be said. “Both myself and the Prime Minister consider this debate to be closed,” said Nicholson.
Harper said Thursday that he said he didn’t know much about the case, but said that his government “has no intention of further opening or reopening this issue.”
< http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/01/13/same-sex-marriages-declared-legal-and-valid-by-justice-minister-rob-nicholson/ >