Justice Minister declares all same-sex marriages legal and valid - The Globe and Mail
All same sex marriages performed in Canada are legal and the law will be changed to ensure that divorce is readily available to non-residents who were married in the country, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says.
Speaking at a Toronto luncheon Friday, Mr. Nicholson blamed the Liberal government that preceded his for not filling a “legislative gap” that has left thousands of same-sex couples in an agonizing position of being unable to divorce should they feel a need to.
The situation has been “completely unfair to those affected.” Mr. Nicholson said. “I want to make it clear that in our government’s view, these marriages are valid.”
The announcement appears to clear up a continuing source of controversy that erupted Thursday when The Globe and Mail reported a divorce case in Toronto where the Justice Department took the position that a same-sex marriage involving non-residents is not legal unless their home country recognizes it as such.
Mr. Nicholson raised the issue immediately after taking the podium at a Canadian Club luncheon. His statement went well beyond an assurance he gave Thursday that the government will consider legislative reform that would enable couples affected to obtain divorces.
On Friday, he expressed empathy with those caught up in the confusion and assured them that changes will be made to ensure that both their marriages and divorces are legally valid.