The issue is not gay marriage. It is gay divorce and specifically, the divorce of two foreign gays who married in Canada. Martha McCarthy, a lawyer in Toronto, is acting on behalf of two foreign women in their divorce case. There's a problem however. Neither woman is resident in Canada and Canada's (federal) divorce law requires that at least one of the spouses reside in a province for at least 12 months.
G & M
In a response to Ms. McCarthy’s court application, federal lawyer Sean Gaudet tied the federal position to two central propositions. First, he said, couples who came to Canada to be married must live in the country for at least a year before they can obtain a divorce. Second, same-sex marriages are legal in Canada only if they are also legal in the home country or state of the couple.
Canadians frequently marry abroad. (For example, our own Minister of Defence recently married in Mexico.) If Mackay or his spouse decides to divorce in a few years, will either go to a Mexican court to break their marriage contract? Where a marriage takes place is distinct from where a divorce takes place.
I think the question here is whether we should change our divorce law to accommodate foreigners who happened to come to Canada to get married. Specifically, should we remove the residency requirement and in effect allow anyone to fly in and apply for a divorce?
In Canada, this problem is more thorny because the terms of divorce are determined at the provincial level. At present, a divorcing couple must apply for divorce in the province of residency. If we remove the residency requirement, then people could apply for divorce in any province.
This is a legal mess. And sadly, the issue has all the makings of becoming AGMT (another gay marriage thread).
Edited by August1991, 12 January 2012 - 09:16 AM.