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Panel: Changes in Same-Sex Marriage Policy

Bear with us as we try something new here at Gender Focus: a contributors’ panel. Sometimes a story breaks and none of our contributors has the time to write a full post about it that day. Often, it’s also a story that can be better presented if considered from diverse perspectives. So the idea I had was that if something like this happens I can send out the story to the contributors to get multiple takes on it.

For our pilot test, I picked what ended up being one of the biggest stories of this week: the Canadian federal government’s position on same-sex marriages performed in Canada for people from other countries where same-sex marriage is not legal.

The thing is the story developed so fast that I feel like we kind of missed the boat. In case you weren’t following, on Thursday I first saw the story in the Globe and Mail with this headline: “Despite legal about-face, Harper has ‘no intention’ of reopening gay marriage.” From the article:

The Harper government has served notice that thousands of same-sex couples who flocked to Canada from abroad since 2004 to get married are not legally wed.

The reversal of federal policy is revealed in a document filed in a Toronto test case launched recently by a lesbian couple seeking a divorce. Wed in Toronto in 2005, the couple have been told they cannot divorce because they were never really married – a Department of Justice lawyer says their marriage is not legal in Canada since they could not have lawfully wed in Florida or England, where the two partners reside.

This was seen as a dramatic reversal of government policy, but despite the fact that the NDP brought the issue up in the House last fall, Harper and the Conservatives insisted they had no idea there was any change: Read more

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Can-Con, LGBT, Politics Leave a comment