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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Canada's Conservative Government Turns My Husband Back Into My Boyfriend

Posted by on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 7:42 AM

After issuing thousands of marriage licenses to same-sex couples from United States and other nations where same-sex marriage is not yet legal—marriage licenses that did not come with a disclaimer or an asterisk—Canada's conservative government has now decided that those marriages—marriages like mine—are not legally valid. Not even in Canada:

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....

The government’s hard line has cast sudden doubt on the rights and legal status of couples who wed in Canada after a series of court decisions opened the floodgates to same-sex marriage. The mechanics of determining issues such as tax status, employment benefits and immigration have been thrown into legal limbo. The two women—professionals in the their early 30s—cannot be identified under a court order. But Martha McCarthy, a prominent Toronto lawyer who represents them, said the government’s about-face is astonishing. “It is scandalous,” she said in an interview. “It is offensive to their dignity and human rights to suggest they weren’t married or that they have something that is a nullity. It is appalling and outrageous that two levels of government would be taking this position without ever having raised it before, telling anybody it was an issue or doing anything pro-active about it,” she said. “All the while, they were handing out licences to perform marriages across the country to non-resident people.”

These women, married in Canada, were trying to get a divorce in Canada. This they may not do, says Canada's conservative government, because—surprise!—these women are not and never were married. Not even in Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's comments this morning are hilarious:

“We have no intention of further re-opening or opening this issue,” Stephen Harper told reporters when asked about The Globe and Mail’s report.

Sorry, motherfucker, but this "issue"—the civil equality of gays and lesbians—is wide open now and your fucking government opened it. The debate over same-sex marriage and the civil equality of gays and lesbians has been returned to the frontpages of Canada's newspapers and a renewed debate over same-sex marriage will dominate Canadian television and radio news programs. And Canada's religious conservatives will doubtless complain—loud and long—about their precious children having to hear about homosexuality every time they turn on the news. Stephen Harper's government reopened this issue, not the gays, and Stephen Harper's government deserves the blame. There will be lawsuits, time and money will be wasted, oceans of ink and pixels will be spilled, before this issue—the full civil equality of gays and lesbians—winds up before the Supreme Court of Canada. I'm confident that justice will prevail—God bless the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms—but the decision to reopen this issue is going to be one massive distraction for the Canadian government.

Gays and lesbians inside and outside of Canada are going to make sure of it.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to go wake up my husband and tell him we got divorced last night.

UPDATE:

harpersuxtweet.jpg

Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson:

Mr. Harper’s advisers must know that a huge political controversy has landed in their lap. Soon after The Globe and Mail published the story, the Twitterverse exploded, with more observant posters asking if this meant that couples of different races couldn’t marry in Canada, or women couldn’t get a driver’s licence, if their native land forbade such things.... [This] issue will dominate news conferences, political talk shows and – vastly more important – water coolers unless and until the Conservatives deal with it. If Mr. Harper wanted to launch a culture war through the back door, he has succeeded. If he was as surprised as everyone else by the lawyer’s opinion, then he will need to deal with the matter—and deal with it soon.

UPDATE 2: Did Canada's conservative government make this decision? Or was it a rogue lawyer? Says Wandering Soul in comments:

I think you misunderstand, Dan. This was one lawyer who claimed this, not the official stance of the government. Harper's quote—“We have no intention of further re-opening or opening this issue”—is in context of him wanting to figure out why this happened, as he has no intention of re-opening the issue. I'm not at all a Harper fan, but I think this will turn out to just be a misstep by an out of line lawyer.

The Globe and Mail indicates that Harper seemed caught off guard by questions about his own government's claim that the same-sex marriages of foreigners are not valid in Canada. Maybe Harper will announce later today that it was all a big misunderstanding. In the meantime, the issue is exploding not just all over the Twitterverse, but all over Canadian and international media. One day the haters are going to realize that the only way to make this "issue" go away—the issue being fact of our existence—is to grant us our full civil equality. We are determined to make discriminating against us a bigger pain the ass than tolerating our civil equality ever could be.

UPDATE 3: I've got a calls in... but... there are potentially serious consequences for same-sex couples in Washington state who married in Canada. Right now, if I'm not mistaken, Washington state recognizes same-sex marriages performed in states and countries where same-sex marriage is legal—but Washington treats these couples (me and Terry included) as domestic partners under WA state law. Washington's DP law grants same-sex couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage that the state controls. So... if same-sex marriage isn't legal for foreigners in Canada, if our marriages aren't valid in Canada, it's possible that this move by Harper's government means that couples like us—same-sex couples from WA who married in Canada—are no longer domestic partners under the law here in Washington state.

What a headache.

UPDATE 4: This isn't the only action Harper's government has taken to undermine marriage equality in Canada. G&M op-ed:

After provinces began legalizing same-sex marriage in 2003, Toronto and other Canadian cities enjoyed something of a gay marriage tourism boom: Couples who couldn’t tie the knot at home got married here. They knew their home state might not recognize these unions. Rules for determining the validity of marriages from one place to another are complicated. Same-sex marriage, which some places recognize but others don’t, makes it more complicated yet. But Canadian principles of equality support the view that Canada should recognize the marriages of couples married in Canada.

Instead, the federal government is intervening in a divorce case to state the view that gay couples aren’t validly married in Canada unless they could be married in their home jurisdiction. Government lawyers haven’t presented this view in the past. Why do so now?

The other case concerns the way Canadian authorities treat same-sex unions performed abroad. Britain legislated for gay equality by creating the civil partnership. It says a civil partnership is equal to marriage. The Ontario government makes no opposition. But at taxpayers’ expense, the federal government is intervening in legal proceedings to oppose recognition of the civil partnership formalized by a Canadian citizen in Britain. This action undermines British efforts to recognize the equality of same-sex relationships.

In both cases, we shouldn’t let the technicalities distract us from matters of principle. A government proud that Canada’s Parliament has granted equal marriage rights to gay men and lesbians would stand behind such marriages, however other countries saw them. And a government supportive of equality would affirm other countries’ efforts to recognize gay relationships.

UPDATE 5: Harper's government tries to walk it back:

The federal government will consider changing the law to ensure non-residents married in Canada can obtain divorces, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Thursday afternoon.

Wading into a controversy that has quickly blown into an international cause célèbre, Mr. Nicholson made assurances the government “has no intention of reopening the debate on the definition of marriage.” He said that under the current laws, the marriage in the case at the centre of the controversy cannot be dissolved in Canada in spite of the fact that the couple was wed in Toronto in 2005. “I will be looking at options to clarify the law so that marriages performed in Canada can be undone in Canada,” Mr. Nicholson said.

Mr. Nicholson's statement gave immediate hope to married same-sex couples who are seeking a divorce but appeared to have no prospect of obtaining a one in Canada. However, it left one central question unanswered: Does the government consider their marriages to be legal, or not?

Some clarity would be nice. In the meantime, a host of US gay orgs released this joint statement:

The following is a joint statement from Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and Freedom to Marry:

We write to respond to a news report from Canada that a lawyer in the current government has taken a position in a trial-level divorce proceeding that a same-sex couple's marriage is not valid because the members of the couple were not Canada residents at the time that they married, and the law of their home jurisdiction did not permit them to marry at the time.

No one's marriage has been invalidated or is likely to be invalidated. The position taken by one government lawyer in a divorce is not itself precedential. No court has accepted this view and there is no reason to believe that either Canada's courts or its Parliament would agree with this position, which no one has asserted before during the eight years that same-sex couples have had the freedom to marry in Canada.

Canada permits non-residents to marry and thousands of non-resident same-sex couples have married there since Canada first began recognizing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in 2003. Indeed, Canada's Parliament codified the equal right to marry for same-sex couples in 2005.

The message for same-sex couples married in Canada remains the same as it is for same-sex couples validly married here in the United States: take every precaution you can to protect your relationship with legal documents such as powers of attorney and adoptions, as you may travel to jurisdictions that don't respect your legal relationship. There is no reason to suggest that Canadian marriages of same-sex couples are in jeopardy, or to advocate that people try to marry again elsewhere, as that could cause these couples unnecessary complications, anxiety, and expense.

 

Comments (265) RSS

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treefort 1
Aw, Dan. I'm so sorry. That's completely crappy. Jeez, why is Canada trying to emulate our Republican rubbish when they've been such a beacon of hope to the North. Hopefully you'll be able to get a Washington marriage later this year. But, man, that's terrible, I'm sorry.
Posted by treefort on January 12, 2012 at 7:49 AM · Report this
DavidC 2
That's what you get when you give a Conservative a majority Government. Sad to say but I'm actually glad he opened up this can of worms - if he starts barking up this tree (social politics) he will be turfed out of office for good next election and be replaced by another 20yr Liberal (middle of the road in Canada) majority. Rick Mercer (our version of John Stewart) - will roast him for this one.
Posted by DavidC http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/ on January 12, 2012 at 7:50 AM · Report this
sepiolida 3
Agreed. The Canadian people will not let this go. Especially when they know how much foreign gay weddings are bringing to their economy. What kinda moron fucker would deliberately end a system that brings people in to spend money in Canada? Canadians are better than this and they will turn this around.

Sorry, Dan. Washington will hopefully join six other states in the non-crazy future soon and you can fix this properly.
Posted by sepiolida on January 12, 2012 at 7:55 AM · Report this
johnyawl 4
I think that was an anullment, Dan, not a divorce. Either way, I'm damn sorry this is happening.
Posted by johnyawl on January 12, 2012 at 8:03 AM · Report this
5
Another sneaky move by the Harper government. But they'll be called out loud and clear. This is already all over social media here and people are totally confused and up in arms. The thought at this point is that it's lawyers calling the shots, and not the PM. He had NO idea this was happening (at a press scrum in Halifax about shipbuilding he was asked about it and said he needed an update and will speak on it later - next press conference is this afternoon in BC at their shipbuilding site).

He's a bonehead. And by not responding quickly and decisively saying that it was a legalese mistake, he'll suffer. I hope. Though this Canadian government is slowly trying to strangle us without us knowing...
Posted by ralmn on January 12, 2012 at 8:03 AM · Report this
Lurleen 6
This is why we need to be ale to marry at home, beyond the reach of foreign political maneuvers.
Posted by Lurleen on January 12, 2012 at 8:04 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 7
@1: I wonder how many assholes who are planning to vote Ron Paul think he'd NEVER do that because he supports freedoms while being too stupid to know that their candidate supported DOMA and an act preventing the Federal Government from being able to QUESTION the constitutionality of DOMA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_Pr…
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 8:05 AM · Report this
8
@6 Yes.
Posted by EricaP on January 12, 2012 at 8:06 AM · Report this
ryanayr 9
Canada has lived long enough under the tyranny of foreign nationals spending their hard earned money to publicly and legally pronounce their love and devotion for their chosen partner. Their long national nightmare is at long last over.

Also, where is Canada's bible belt? I wasn't familiar with the Canadian demographic Harper is trying to fellate.
Posted by ryanayr on January 12, 2012 at 8:07 AM · Report this
10
:/ Not cool, Dan. Not cool. Since the government is being arbitrary, I'm going to be arbitrary. As far as I'm concerned, you're still married, and I decline to describe you as otherwise unless you tell me to do so. This... this is crap.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 12, 2012 at 8:09 AM · Report this
emma's bee 11
Awfully sorry, Dan! I agree that it's high time that DOMA die a quick & painless death. And that all 50 states recognize and permit same-sex marriage.

@9: ever been to Calgary?
Posted by emma's bee on January 12, 2012 at 8:11 AM · Report this
12
I think you misunderstand Dan. This was one lawyer who claimed this, not the official stance of the government.

Harper's quote “We have no intention of further re-opening or opening this issue,” is in context of him wanting to figure out why this happened, as he has no intention of re=opening the issue.

I'm not at all a Harper fan, but I think this will turn out to just be a misstep by an out of line lawyer.
Posted by WanderingSoul on January 12, 2012 at 8:11 AM · Report this
YanaBanana 13
I am so sorry Dan. I am speechless.

and I am OUTRAGED.

I simply cannot imagine what you must be feeling.

dear God
Posted by YanaBanana on January 12, 2012 at 8:11 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 14
@12: "a Department of Justice lawyer says their marriage is not legal in Canada"

"“We have no intention of further re-opening or opening this issue,” Stephen Harper told reporters"

Do you think, if this happened in the US, that Obama making a statement like that would not speak for himself?
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
despicable me 15
My condolences to both of you, Dan and Terry. And right before your anniversary. (:

I'm raising my glass in hopes that in 2 to 3 years tops you two are in a leather bar somewhere when you hear that Marriage is between two people who love each other and want to be together until they look like the skull and crossbones on the wedding rings DJ picked out for you.
Posted by despicable me on January 12, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
Alanmt 16
BS. I refuse to accept this until the highest court in Canada rules on the subject.

My husband's comment 'Whew! That makes things easier for me" seems kinda ominous . . . .
Posted by Alanmt on January 12, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 17
@9-SE Manitoba. Much of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Pockets elsewhere, too, I'm sure.

I sincerely hope this is the step too far on Harper's part that gets the Conservatives trounced in the next election.

Dan, I am sincerely sorry.

Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on January 12, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
18
I can kind of see why a country might not want to be in the position of marrying and divorcing people who don't live in the country. Not only is it costly but how is the court to know if their country of residence will honor the decree regarding property or children? Plus the Court will hardly be in a position to effectively settle disputes over property and children who are very likely thousands of miles away and under legal systems that are quite different.

And while it is for positive reasons people go to Canada you could turn this around and have say a couple getting married and divorced in Saudi Arabia for more nefarious purposes. So I can see on the other side of it why a country might not recognize a divorce decree from another country.

But the solution then is not to marry people who do not actually reside in your country, not marry them and then tell them to fuck off. Well that and get full marriage equality here in the US.
Posted by giffy on January 12, 2012 at 8:26 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 19
@18: "I can kind of see why a country might not want to be in the position of marrying and divorcing people who don't live in the country. Not only is it costly but how is the court to know if their country of residence will honor the decree regarding property or children? Plus the Court will hardly be in a position to effectively settle disputes over property and children who are very likely thousands of miles away and under legal systems that are quite different."

How did the court handle marrying any other country's citizens? How do they do this still?
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
20
Please know that there are angry Canadians out there who are not prepared to let Harper get away with this bullshit.
Posted by AniaOnion on January 12, 2012 at 8:33 AM · Report this
21
I'm with @10. You two are still married until you two declare otherwise. FFS.
Posted by Action Kate on January 12, 2012 at 8:35 AM · Report this
ryanayr 22
@18 - I don't know, why not ask America

http://travel.state.gov/law/family_issue…

Seems to be no problem for the State Department.
Posted by ryanayr on January 12, 2012 at 8:36 AM · Report this
23
Well at least the gays aren't as oppressed as the poor Mormons. (See Charles' post above)
Posted by longball on January 12, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
24
That twitter snark about a Saudi woman & Jewish man might well become true in Canada, given the strength of the PC/multi-culti hivemind there.
Posted by BrainFromArous on January 12, 2012 at 8:40 AM · Report this
25
The couples affected by this should demand refunds from the public officials who charged them for services that apparently weren't really performed.
Posted by Atumornamedmarla on January 12, 2012 at 8:41 AM · Report this
26
Son of a beesting! When Massachusetts pulled this crud, at least they had the good grace to not do so retroactively. (MA had a law on the books stating something to the effect of "If your marriage wouldn't be legal in your home state, then you can't get married here unless you move here." It was originally intended to prevent black and white couples from the pre-civil-rights South from getting destination weddings in MA.)

If the marriages weren't going to be legal in Canada, then they shouldn't have issued the marriage licenses (which I assume came with a fee).
Posted by DRF on January 12, 2012 at 8:44 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 27
@26: "It was originally intended to prevent black and white couples from the pre-civil-rights South from getting destination weddings in MA"

This is why I groan whenever people make fun of Americans internationally, they have no clue how easily our unchecked evils can infest them. Our cockroaches meet with their cockroaches, empowering them. We all need support and change is NEVER permanent unless we have some amount of vigilance and nobody feels "safe" that our brand of conservatives can't infest them.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 8:48 AM · Report this
28
The lawyers' position on that case rests on two heads, one lawful and egalitarian, one homophobic and unconstitutional.

Regarding the former: divorce law here in Canada mandates for everyone that at least one partner be resident in the country for at least one year prior to launching the petition for divorce. Canada isn't Reno and we don't permit jurisdiction-shopping the same way that, say, the libel whores use England. Dan and Terry couldn't get a Canadian divorce either, even in front of the friendliest, Glee-gayest judge in the country, given that they are residents of an American state and that is the forum conviens for them.

Regarding the latter, it's full of it. First, Canada's gay friendly marriage laws came about by means of clear and consistent court cases that the straights-only marriage laws violated the Charter; those cases are still in effect. Second, it's contrary to Canadian statutes on the subject, which do not discriminate between gays and straights for marriage purposes. Third, there are no comparable restrictions regarding other jurisdictions' marriage prohibitions (eg: caste, race,) which the feds enforce. The test is not and has never been whether you can be lawfully married in your home jurisdiction: it is whether you can be lawfully married in Canada. I presume that the arguments being propounded by the feds is that Canada wouldn't permit, say, somebody who was already married in, say, Iowa, couldn't be permitted to make a bigamous marriage in Ontario. But that is covered by the three options available on the Ontario form [PDF]:
http://www.forms.ssb.gov.on.ca/mbs/ssb/f…
You will note that NONE of the three options address whether or not you can be married in your home jurisdiction, only with whether you can't be legally married because you are already married and not divorced or widow(er)ed.

Third, notice the craven political cowardice involved here: in Canada, divorce is a federal responsibility but marriage is provincial. The province is letting the feds take the heat for this one, effectively disavowing the Marriage Act: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statute….

It may be some lawyer pulling a fool move. More likely it is a trial balloon floated by the social conservative wing of the Conservative Party. They are a cautious bunch here, simply because the vast majority of Canadians aren't social conservatives; whenever the former Reform Party or the current Tories (run by ex-Reformers) have gone openly BIBLE they tend to have their asses handed to them on a platter, so, like the stealth candidates of the American experience, have learned to keep their ideology zipped until they have real power. And, now, with a majority government thanks to the incompetence of the Liberals, they have one.
More...
Posted by seeker6079 on January 12, 2012 at 8:49 AM · Report this
29
This is an actual case:

My friends, a bi-national Canadian/US couple married in British Columbia in late 2003, shortly after same-sex marriage became legal there. At the time they owned a house in Vancouver, one was a Canadian citizen and the other had landed status(the Canadian equivalent of a green card)as the spouse of a Canadian citizen. In 2006 they moved to California for one of them to take a job. They still live near San Diego.

According to the Harper government's argument, the couple was married from 2003-2006. From 2006 to June 2008 they were unmarried until California legalized marriage, were married from June 2008 - November 2008, then were unmarried again after Prop 8 passed. By this argument they are not married if they were to divorce in California, but married if they filed to separate in Canada.

If the Supreme Court upholds the ruling in the Prop 8 case, they'll be married again and can divorce anywhere they damned well please.

Seriously, Canada?
Posted by Smartypants on January 12, 2012 at 8:50 AM · Report this
30
If they had to pay any Govt. fees in Canada to get married, they should get their money back.
Posted by blath on January 12, 2012 at 8:52 AM · Report this
MarkDallas 31
I don't know anything about Canadian law, but if this holds-up, it seems to me that local and regional governmental entities -- and chambers of commerce -- really who promoted same-sex marriage to foreigners are guilty of massive fraud.
Posted by MarkDallas on January 12, 2012 at 8:57 AM · Report this
32
it's so frustrating and it makes me angry to hear about people that can control our lives on mere whims.
Posted by semi-crepuscular on January 12, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
33
Okay, one lawyer cannot nullify anything. Nor can that bag of maggoty crap, Harper. You are still married here. Really. You are going to have to fight though, because Harper voted against you being allowed to marry. It'll be a court case for sure. Luckily, the Supreme Court is likely to side with you.

Good God this sucks.

I live in Victoria. We've built a whole industry on vacation weddings, specifically for gay couples who can't marry elsewhere. Money talks. Even if acceptance, love, compassion, and common fucking sense don't.
Posted by LunaFCS on January 12, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
Helix 34
I find this deeply ironic because my Canadian friends are constantly like "lolol Canada so much better than US you're all so conservative we're the country of liberals and rainbow farting unicorns" and then this happens.

Tragic, and fucked up, but still deeply ironic.
Posted by Helix on January 12, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 35
My god. Well, I hope that the case suggest in Update 2 proves to be, but I'm still sorry that you're getting jerked around like this.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 12, 2012 at 9:11 AM · Report this
kim in portland 36
Sorry to read this, Dan. Keep your chin up.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on January 12, 2012 at 9:19 AM · Report this
37
Boo hiss. Our bad.
Posted by North of 49 on January 12, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
38
@34

Touche, but this happened without Canadians knowing. Now everyone will be able to see what we do when our government does something like this, or when equality doesn't prevail for any specific minority group.

I sincerely hope that this is a lawyer who stepped over the line by making a statement he shouldn't have, because this is an outrage not to just LGBT couples but to those from abroad as well who have marriage licenses in Canada (such as the Saudi/Jewish example).

Stephen Harper better act on this quick and without having to be pushed or he can be guaranteed to become the most hated Prime Minister in the recent string we've had.
Posted by WorldPhoenix on January 12, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
39
Count me as another Canadian who is angry about this. I'm so sorry, Dan, for how this is affecting you and Terry and the thousands of other foreign same-sex couples who were married here. I'm eager to hear what Harper has to say on this later today.

@11 I live in Calgary. While there are some pockets of liberal thinkers here, I'm amazed and shocked at the hardline social conservatism that so many people here openly hold. I am hoping to move back to Nova Scotia soon.
Posted by canada girl on January 12, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
40
http://bit.ly/zM1w2K

Perhaps this does fall into the "misunderstanding" category. If, of course, you define "misunderstanding" as "massive public fuck up."
Posted by other coast on January 12, 2012 at 9:47 AM · Report this
41
Justice lawyers can't go to the bathroom without a note from their political commissars in the minister's office. Canada's Justice Minister, Doug Nicholson, is a member of the Knights Of Columbus and and Opus Dei Catholic. He is committed to banning abortion and ending gay marriage in Canada, and is quite open about it.

The chances his overzealous political minions didn't add this to the filing is about zero.

Again, the chances of it being a rogue lawyer are zero. There is no rogue behavior. Everything is managed through political appointees. If Stephen Harper was blindsided it was by his own minister and his aides, who are chomping at the bit.

Posted by theek on January 12, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
42
Stupid Fucking Conservatives. This just makes me rededicate myself to working harder to get Marriage Equality passed here in Washington. 3 state senate votes away. I really hope they get this mess straightened out in Canada. Stupid Fucking Conservatives.
Posted by SeattleKim on January 12, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this
43
Justice lawyers can't go to the bathroom without a note from their political commissars in the minister's office. Canada's Justice Minister, Doug Nicholson, is a member of the Knights Of Columbus and and Opus Dei Catholic. He is committed to banning abortion and ending gay marriage in Canada, and is quite open about it.

The chances his overzealous political minions didn't add this to the filing is about zero.

Again, the chances of it being a rogue lawyer are zero. There is no rogue behavior. Everything is managed through political appointees. If Stephen Harper was blindsided it was by his own minister and his aides, who are chomping at the bit.

Posted by theek on January 12, 2012 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Telsa 44
When it hits home, Dan, it feels really, really different, doesn't it? Remember that.
Posted by Telsa on January 12, 2012 at 9:53 AM · Report this
45
A lot of people on Twitter and the web over the past year thought that I was crazy for calling Harper a motherfucker over and over for his many heinous acts toward human rights. I know you're mad, and you should be, but if it's any consolation, LGBT life partners are most definitely not alone in this kind of anguish. Canada used to be a haven for rights, but Harper has used the provincial supreme courts like an assassin, and now it's nearly as bad as Iran.

I think that some mathematical physicists may even sometimes call Harper a spherical motherfucker, since he's a motherfucker from all angles.
Posted by Shawn Halayka on January 12, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
nicholaus 46
Dan, I particularly love your closing statement. "We are determined to make discriminating against us a bigger pain the ass than tolerating our civil equality ever could be."

Well stated.
Posted by nicholaus on January 12, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
47
A lot of people on Twitter and the web over the past year thought that I was crazy for calling Harper a motherfucker over and over for his many heinous acts toward human rights. I know you're mad, and you should be, but if it's any consolation, LGBT life partners are most definitely not alone in this kind of anguish. Canada used to be a haven for rights, but Harper has used the provincial supreme courts like an assassin, and now it's nearly as bad as Iran.

I think that some mathematical physicists may even sometimes call Harper a spherical motherfucker, since he's a motherfucker from all angles.

P.S. I'm in a hetero marriage, and I voted conservative on the provincial level. This is a matter of common sense for me, not a matter of "taste".
Posted by Shawn Halayka on January 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Dingo 48
It's an absolute disgrace. Harper being what he is, I'm confident his government will do all it can to use this to undermine the rights of GLBT people, including Canadians. Hopefully he'll fail, like he did last time. Meanwhile, the former PM is warning that Harper, who draws his inspiration from America's Republicans, also has his sights on abortion and other rights. The worst part is, Canadians did this by voting the son of a bitch in the first time, and then, after he not only broke his own campaign promises but also parliamentary law, inexplicably rewarding him with a majority the second time.
Posted by Dingo on January 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
49
The chances [that] overzealous political minions didn't add this to the filing is about zero. [...] If Stephen Harper was blindsided it was by his own minister and his aides, who are chomping at the bit.


Americans need to remember that Canada's Conservative Party is a marriage between the failed Progressive Conservative party and the rejected Reform Party. The former was, in many ways, generally indistinguishable from the Liberals, being middle-of-the-road, high-spending, socially liberal. The latter was (amongst other things) the product of the more socially conservative and fiscally conservative members of the PCs and the right.

The Reformers had a gift for scaring the hell out of the general public: the electorate would start to swing their way and then one of them would say something TeaParty-like crazy. Harper governed with a minority and then obtained a majority by, for the most part, keeping the frothers under discipline. Now, they have their majority and the hard-righters, like your angry, angry, angry Tea Party uncle seething in a corner at a family party where he's been told not to rant, are starting to have steam escaping at the seams and push their luck on what they say.
Posted by seeker6079 on January 12, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
50
@Dingo Harper has a majority government with 38% of popular vote. It's our electoral system that is broken and it has nothing to do with us 'voting him in'. We didn't.

All in all, as big a motherfucker as he is, this is matter of jurisdictions and nothing to do with his policies. I knew this to be true when the first gavel hit, legalizing gay marriage.
Posted by tnicola on January 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM · Report this
Posted by theek on January 12, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
53
For a country that was ahead of the curve seems like they're in the shit pile now. First you see it now you don't. What a legal fucking nightmare. This isn't an academic issue. Real people are getting shit on by this. Is this an unintended problem that can be fixed or something else? What can we learn from Canada?
Posted by ndattn on January 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM · Report this
55
This really sucks!

Like Dan and Terry, my husband and I were legally married in Canada.

The marriage has never been recognized in our home states, but I had hopes of that changing in the future.
Posted by Clayton on January 12, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Geni 56
Harper's toast. This is going to cost him.
Posted by Geni on January 12, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
BEG 57
As far as I'm concerned, you two are married and the assorted governments are illegally not recognizing it. I really cannot believe this clusterfuck coming out of Canada, and cannot possibly *headdesk* sufficiently over this.

I remember when CA retracted its gay marriage statute and then for a while looked like they'd rescind the marriages performed in that five month window. They didn't, but I can tell you every married same sex couple in CA is acutely aware of that Damocles sword :-P Ugh.

And yes, that question of a muslim/jewish marriage in Canada is a very interesting point made, by logically follwing that "if you can't marry at home, you can't marry here" bullshit.
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on January 12, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
58
Won't somebody think of the CHILDREN!!! Those ass-holes in Ottowa just made DJ a basterd. They did the same thing to my daughter who, rather unfortunately, is named Harper. Her (other) Daddy and I were married in Tornoto in 2005. When I saw the news this morning, I called my (now ex-)husband and told him we have to have a civil union ceremony pronto (we live in Chicago). I don't want to take any risks with something this important.
Posted by db4530 on January 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
puppydogtails 59
Could everyone please calm the fuck down?

One government lawyer is not a legislature or court. Whatever the current government thinks, Canada is governed by LAWS and this will be settled in the courts, if it needs to be at all. I think Harper's statement is what we should be going by.

Canada's laws are not overruled by the laws of other countries, as many on Twitter have pointed out. At most, this opinion states the obvious -- that there is a residency requirement for divorce and if you live outside of Canada your marriage may not be recognized. There is a lot more subtlety to this than at first glance. Shame on the Canadian media for losing their heads!

That said, how STUPID is the Harper government? They manage to convince gays and lesbians in Canada that their marriages aren't valid, even though this is categorically untrue. I think there will be a media frenzy over this until Harper is more emphatic and all these rogue bureaucrats are brought to heel.
Posted by puppydogtails on January 12, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
nocutename 60
This is disgraceful. I'm sorry and angry to read it. I hope sometime in the next year or two, full marriage equality is achieved in the US and re-achieved in Canada. People who love each other and want to be married don't deserve such crap.
But if it serves to bring more attention to the denial of civil rights on an international scale, if it gets more US citizens who, though unhappy that their marriages were not recognized in their states or country of residence, were quiet because they were at least married in Canada, hopping, spitting, mad, and VOCALLY mad that their own country's politics put them in this position, then some good may yet come of it.

I loved your conclusion, Dan. That's what people have to do. Have you ever thought of organizing a march on Washington? You're beginning to have enough clout to consider it.
Posted by nocutename on January 12, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
balderdash 61
I guess we need to wait and see how this shakes out before totally flipping our shit, but no matter the outcome Harper is still a giant asshole for plenty of other reasons.

Anyway, if this does turn out badly, sorry to hear it, Dan, but, for what it's worth, it makes no damn nevermind to most of us. You're still as married as always. Hopefully the legal status of that fact in Canada will be a moot point after the next Washington elections.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on January 12, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 62
@61: "I guess we need to wait and see how this shakes out before totally flipping our shit"

This is why Conservatives stick a toe in. The water feels fine!

Never ever underestimate those who would remove your liberties and dehumanize you.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 63
"Could everyone please calm the fuck down?

One government lawyer is not a legislature or court. Whatever the current government thinks, Canada is governed by LAWS and this will be settled in the courts, if it needs to be at all. I think Harper's statement is what we should be going by"

And if they decide that this is "upholding the law" who really cares, right?

"There is a lot more subtlety to this than at first glance."

And there is a lot more that can be implied by this than your first glance, apparently.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
64
So under the same assumptions mixed race couples who wold not be able to be wed in their own countries because it is against the law there marrage would now be concidered nulified. This doesn't make sense if couples come to Canada, get married they are married. It would be one thing if they filed for divorce in their own country and that country said they were not legally married but not in the same country that married them. This just lacks common sence, oh but oh wait, it is the conservative government we are talking about!!!
Posted by purple jix on January 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM · Report this
nocutename 65
I see that the Stranger had restricted the comments thread in an effort to keep out the hate ("In an effort to keep the discourse respectful and on topic, commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters. "), but it doesn't seem to be as helpful as I'd like.
Isn't there some way to refuse all comments with the word "Danny" in them?
Posted by nocutename on January 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
nocutename 66
Holy Cow! Someone just took them off, even though they were from what looked like a registered user.
There is a god!
Posted by nocutename on January 12, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
67
Like it or not, Stevie, you just reopened the issue, dimwit. Either the federal lawyer gets spanked and told what an idiot he is, or the Harper goverment has some major 'splainin' to do. It makes no sense that Canada would marry 1000s of couples knowing that those marriages would be legally invalid everywhere, including Canada. (Or, if they didn't know, how grossly incompetent were they?) It would be kinda fraudulent, too. Tourism board advertising for years: Come here gay couples, we love you, and we'll marry you for millions of your tourist $$$$. Oops, fake marry you, Haha. Nope, this isn't going to fly. If Stevie sticks with the lawyer's story, he'll be revisiting marriage in the Canadian courts for a long long time.

P.S. Loved the Montréal CBC Radio noontime show on the issue, with Dan among other guests. Except for a couple of crackpot callers, all the Montréalers were flabbergasted and outraged by this.
Posted by ErnestMc on January 12, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 68
@66: Make that 15 (and still counting).
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on January 12, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
nocutename 69
@68:
Thank you, Fifty-Two-Eighty.
Posted by nocutename on January 12, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 70
Anger is a virtue. The US is afraid to express (or ALLOW) any semblance of emotion, politically, and that's fucked us and destroyed the effectiveness of the US media.

Check this bullshit out-

http://www.theawl.com/2012/01/times-poll…

The NYT asked its readers whether it was ok to regurgitate lies unchallenged, then cut off the (requested!) comments, took its ball and ran away when people took them to task for this incredible lack of journalistic standards.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
71
@22 That is talking about a somewhat different issue than a couple going to Canada solely to get married, then leaving and returning solely to get divorced. As the link says:

"Marriages abroad are subject to the residency requirements of the country in which the marriage is to be performed. There is almost always a lengthy waiting period."

Most countries have some kind of residency requirement for marriages and divorces.

Posted by giffy on January 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
72
Let's see if I understand this. If you move back and forth between countries where same sex marriage is legal and countries where it is not, the Canadian same sex marriage alternates between legal and not legal.
Posted by Bob Wright on January 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
OutInBumF 73
Dan- this sucks a big one. Please consider getting DP'd here in WA in the meantime.
As for all the 'get your money back' comments- WTF!? Who cares about a refund on a marriage license?! Talk about trivializing, marginalizing and disrespecting. I'm sure your hearts were in the right place, but.....
Posted by OutInBumF on January 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
74
This is not going to fly. Canadians are furious and the Harper government will be eating its words. Canadians won't tolerate this.

And to all you "alberta-sucks-and-calgary-is-the-bible-belt": Fuck you. Calgary elected the first openly Muslim mayor in North America, holds a Pride Parade every year, and has a large and thriving LGBT community. You hold outdated and stereotypical views. So fuck you.
Posted by Canadian eh? on January 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
75
"Calgary elected the first openly Muslim mayor in North America"

This is something you should be ashamed of, not proud. Islam is even worse superstition than Christianity in its absurdity and vileness.
Posted by Mattyx on January 12, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 76
I see 75 is attempting to combat bigotry with bigotry.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM · Report this
77
What the fucking fuck!

Unfortunately that's about all I got at this point. I've been trying to think of something more eloquent or that holds some water, legally speaking. But I've got nothing.

So sorry to hear that all of this is going down. I didn't realize it could compromise WA's recognition of your relationship. Hopefully it'll all get worked out satisfactorily. :/

Also, fuck DOMA.
Posted by moosefan on January 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 78
(Islam is not a monoculture) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Ellis…
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
79
While the entire country and world are being distracted by this issue (and believe me I am not making light of it as I support the rights of all people to marriage) we had better take a very close look at everything else the Harper government is doing right now. They have had a very nasty habit in the past of sneaking other stuff through the house while distractions were drawing attention elsewhere. It would not surprise me at all that this is a smokescreen to hide something far more sinister that they don't want us to know about ie tax hikes, retraction of other civil rights ... Lets start digging to find the skeletons they are trying to hide!
Posted by ractenor on January 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
80
@71
You wrote:"Most places have some kind of residency requirement for marriages and divorces."

You're half right; most places have residency requirements for divorce. Many, many places have either no residency requirement for marriage, or have only a minimal one; this is what makes so-called "destination weddings" possible. To pick one not-so-random example, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married in Italy; neither is an Italian resident or citizen.

Before my husband and I went to Canada to get married, I researched the laws (and not just by looking at tourist websites), and I emailed the marriage commissioner in advance; again and again, we were informed that there was no residency requirement to get married. When my husband and I went to buy the lisence, we filled out the forms with our US addresse (where the final certificate was mailed), and we used our US passports as identification. Our addresses and passports were readily accepted by the lisencing agent, who congratulated us on our upcoming wedding. Never at any time did we pretend to be anything other than US residents and citizens. We were still allowed to be married, and were told repeatedly that the marriage was legal under Canadian law.

Now, apparently, the Harper government is deciding (a) that this is not the case, and (b) that it was never the case. And I, for one, am royally pissed.
Posted by Clayton on January 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM · Report this
81
@79 has a good point. While I would love it if the Harper government could be legitimately distracted from doing any real work, this could be a ploy.

Sneaky bastards.
Posted by Canadian eh? on January 12, 2012 at 11:45 AM · Report this
82
You should sue the Canadian Government for the cost of travelling to Canada, gas, hotels, meals etc any monies spent in pursuit of getting married in Canada. You should include in your claim the costs incurred by any friends and family that also travelled. You should also include the costs of any and all celebrations in relation to your marriage, i.e. parties, anniversary gifts, wedding bands, tattoos (I recall reading something).

Make the Canadian Government pay for lying to you about what you believed was a valid marriage but they are now saying never was. One thing guaranteed to make anyone sit up and notice is being handed a big fat bill to pay based on their 'principles'.
Posted by danboy76 on January 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 83
@79: A completely valid and plausible concern.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
84
Here is part of what confuses me. They state that the partners could not have wed in Florida or England, where they reside. However, England had passed Equal Marriage rights, is this not correct? Florida no, England yes. So if their marriage is legal in England, why is Harper's government saying their Canadian marriage is invalid?
Posted by SeattleKim on January 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
85
That's what you get for being married in a foreign country.
You should have thought about getting a DP in Washington, where you live.
With all due respect, you're marriage to Terry wasn't every really worth a whole lot in America.
Lame but true.
So maybe I stead of being up in arms and blaming other people for your own personal strife, maybe you could go back to hating autotune and blaming everyone else for gay teen suicides.
Hack.
Posted by vargisonj on January 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Sketch 86
Aw, Dan, I'm so sorry. :(

How's Terry, other than pissed off?
Posted by Sketch on January 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
John Horstman 87
@75: Nah, it's exactly as bad as Christianity (and Judaism, for the matter - Israel's nominally secular, and the extremist Jewish orthodox political party still holds disproportionate influence in its government), it's just more noticeable, since there are WAY more official reactionary Islamic theocracies right now than reactionary Christian theocracies (despite the best efforts of the fundies here) passing asshat reactionary-theology-based laws. Gay bashing, clinic bombings/murders, forced/coerced pregnancy and rape apologism, a massive global child-sex-trafficking ring masquerading as a church: the Christian Right extremists are as violent as any Islamic extremist group, they just have to be a little more careful in the context of a government that doesn't actively enable their murderous activities (or only does so sometimes, in a narrow range of cases).
Posted by John Horstman on January 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM · Report this
88
@84
Seattlekim, England does not offer marriage; it offers "civil unions" which are supposed to be equal to marriage in everything but name. Because they do not go by the name "marriage," the Canadian government is now refusing to recognize civil unions as equivalent to marriage. Which is why the name is so important.
Posted by Clayton on January 12, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
John Horstman 89
@73: I interpreted that along the lines of, "Make this hurt the Harper government as much as possible: hit 'em in the pocketbook," not, "If you can get your money back, everything's cool."
Posted by John Horstman on January 12, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 90
@87: "it's just more noticeable, since there are WAY more official reactionary Islamic theocracies right now than reactionary Christian theocracies"

What frustrates me is that amount of credence people place in the Hitchens school of conservative-atheist (I suppose in the US, the South Park Republican) rhetoric. "it's exactly as bad as Christianity" is a much more accurate depiction.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
merry 91
Jesus. What a bunch of baloney.

I will never, ever understand why some people are so inordinately obsessed with the genitalia of people they've never met. WHO CARES what's in the underwear of two people who want to stand up before their friends and family, and the law, and maybe even God, and declare their love for one another, and their intention to spend their lives together, lovingly and supportively?

I MEAN REALLY. It is just in such poor taste to go shrieking about like a demented harpy, obsessedobsessedOBSESSED with marital genitalia.

HOMOPHOBES NEED TO GET A NEW HOBBY. PRONTO.

I hope this mare's nest works out for you guys, Dan - you and Terry and everyone else who got married in Canada. What a buncha malarkey.
Posted by merry on January 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
92
Dan,

I'm a big supporter of same-sex marriage (even if my partner and I haven't decided to avail ourselves of it), but I am equally a fan of the Rule of Law.

There are centuries of common law jurisprudence on international marriages and they are so widely accepted that virtually every jurisdiction, whether common law or civil law, recognizes them as definitive.

It is not the place of Canada to drag Florida, Washington or England & Wales kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Canadian law hasn't divorced you, because Washington law never let you get married in the first place. If you sever your connection with Washington and establish your "domicile of choice" in Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa, or any of the other jurisdictions that have woken up, then your marriage will be valid.

But don't blame us for the failings of your legal system.
Posted by visagrunt on January 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 93
@92: " I am equally a fan of the Rule of Law."

Ah, the "i support rights and all, but shit happens, and deal".

Get fucked. Human Rights should trump State, Government, and International law.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 94
Rule-of-Law masturbators remind me of the Constitutional literalists, or people who are deathly concerned about "activist judges", none of them really have any interest in justice, loyalty or understanding of the laws around them, only the desperate attempt to maintain the status quo as the world changes and our legal system necessarily adapts.

They also neglect to concern themselves with conservative abuses of law, to fit their narrow, regressive interpretations of intent. Hint! The law doesn't give two shits what you think, and it's designed to be changed as society changes. We will happily change our legal system as it was designed for, and your "traditional marriage" will be no more.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM · Report this
95
If more NDP supporters would get off their asses and vote in the election, this kind of shit wouldn't happen. I honestly don't even know any conservatives except for my baby-boomer, suburban aunts and uncles and boyfriend's pension-obsessed parents, so how are these assholes getting into office? Because the majorityo f people with any political views that are fair or ethical don't bother voting. I'm so angry. Fuck Harper, that squinty-eyed snake.
Posted by squintymcgee on January 12, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
Fnarf 96
I would imagine it's worse being fucked around like this, and thrown into a confusing limbo, than it is to just hear a straightforward "no" from the get-go.

I really hope this brings down the Harper government. Even if you ARE against gay marriage, this cannot do much for your cofidence in their competence, when one boob in your administration can cause so much legal confusion (to say nothing of the personal heartbreak) without, apparently, even thinking about it beforehand.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
97
I am a gay man that married a man in 2008 who was here for a year then went back to poland. Went back due to family and has decided not to come back to canada. I am in the process of filing for divorce but do I need to now?
Posted by quiteacatch on January 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM · Report this
ryanayr 98
@71 - Most countries have residency requirements? Is that a fact? The residency language in that quoted text reads to me that indeed some countries have residency requirements, but also because some countries may have several month turnaround on marriage licenses which may de facto require residency.

But to the larger point, your original post seemed to be tailored to the argument that it shouldn't be in the interests of a country to marry, or be involved in the civil proceedings of foreign nationals. I think any costs associated with marriage licenses could be recouped in filing fees or court fees. I am not totally sure on this, but as far as I know, divorce for "nefarious purposes" is probably pretty rare, considering that I don't know what that is. As for property and children disputes? If they're here legally in America, they don't even need to be married for these issues to be settled in our courts. If they're tourists in our country and they want to engage in legal proceedings regarding custody or property, they do so in their own country. It's not a burden on us. I'm not a lawyer though, I may be way off base.
Posted by ryanayr on January 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 99
@92: I see your comment elsewhere "visagrunt: "I am a public servant, and when I arrive at work in the morning, I check my personal biases and prejudices at the door. I carry out my Minister's instructions. I do not have the privilege of applying my own lens to those instructions."

You seem utterly confused toward the difference between professional obligation and ability to address unjust laws. "Fuck the people who live in backwards locales" is a terrible and cowardly approach.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 100
Hrm, since visagrunt is a public servant, I do wonder if he's an astroturfer.

Lines like "I am no fan of this government--but I respect the honesty of the legal argument that they have presented" posted elsewhere are definite headscratchers.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
101
Marriage for foreigners is perfectly legal in Canada, that's the point. Under lex domicilii, Canada recognizes the laws relating to matrimonial issues in the state of residence. That means people who are married abroad and move to Canada are recognized as married even though their marriage does not conform to our laws. It's also why couples that aren't able to marry elsewhere can't be legally married in Canada unless they live here.

I realize this seems homophobic and evil, and the lawyer for the Federal courts did nothing to dissuade anyone from thinking that. The truth of it is, Canada is not entitled to meddle in the very real consequences of asset division related to divorce if the parties involved don't have those assets within our borders. It would be like two corporations coming up into Canada and just using our legal system to resolve its civil case, with no involvement of assets in our country.

At the end of the day, Canada is trying to keep its court system for itself. It is unfair to punish us because the country you live, work and pay taxes to is unjust. Come live here, Dan, I'll buy you and your husband a Tim Hortons every single day.

Posted by lawboy on January 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
102
I hate my government. Harper is our version of Bush... a mini Bush if you will. This man and his bag of dicks he calls his majority have no respect for human rights. Chin up, Savage... this BS now will only lead to long term resolution. It's my hope that the next generation will be able to look back and scratch their heads at how screwed up all this is.
Posted by exploding.haggis on January 12, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 103
"The truth of it is, Canada is not entitled to meddle in the very real consequences of asset division related to divorce if the parties involved don't have those assets within our borders"

What did they do UP UNTIL THIS TIME?
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
104
@93
Are we supposed to become the new Nevada, offering divorces to everyone in the world who cannot obtain them at home? For that is the argument being made. Two people with no connection to Canada are seeking to use Canadian courts to make up for the deficiencies of their own law.

Is it a human right to cross a border and avail yourself of the laws of another jurisdiction in place of your own? If you want the benefit of Canadian law, move here. If you want Canadian law to apply where you live, then you're going to have to take that matter up with your legislature, not our courts.

Posted by visagrunt on January 12, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
105
@ 18, this is, I think, the most valid argument. Canada has been advertising itself as a haven for same sex marriage, and inviting good people like Dan and Terry up to enjoy our marriage equality.

I would call this massive fraud and misrepresentation, and the couple have every right to feel lied to. We simply shouldn't marry people who don't live in the country, and thus benefit from something we don't intend to honor or deal with later.

Posted by lawboy on January 12, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 106
Regardless, I believe the issue here is less the existing divorce policy in place than the legal opinion that the parties were never married to begin with.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
107
What did we do up until this time? We required that people petitioning for divorce in Canada actually reside here--that's what we did.
Posted by visagrunt on January 12, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
108
I may not have the whole legal environment of this particular case understood, but I do understand that the federal lawyer was an idiot for saying anything even remotely related to Canadian marriage law. This is about Canadian divorce law which is (unfortunately) a completely different beast. Marriage is managed by the Canadian provinces, Divorce is managed by the Federal Government.

The couple trying to divorce are claiming discrimination by the Canadian system, but the fault lies in the fact that getting legally married in Canada requires no residency, while the Divorce Act requires a year of residency in Canada to proceed. The couple in question do not want to or cannot do this, and to them, I say, "tough sh*t, I'm afraid".

These laws were in place when they utilized Canadian marriage law here so they should respect Canadian divorce laws as well. Doesn't seem so confusing to me. They won't be able to divorce from their Canadian wedding IN CANADA until they fulfill the residency requirement. It doesn't matter what the jurisdictions they live in recognize for same-sex partnerships; if they don't recognize Canadian same-sex marriages, they certainly aren't going to recognize Canadian divorce law. This couple are trying to find a loophole in Canadian law so that they can divorce without fulfilling the legal requirements. I don't understand how this discriminates them.....

As for that lawyer saying that if a jurisdiction doesn't recognize Canadian same-sex marriage it shouldn't be recognized in Canada, well that's just stupid. I don't understand how that stance has anything to do with the problem at hand.

Dan, I get from this that if you and Terry married in Canada but at some point wanted to get divorced, and Washington State has laws that recognize Canadian same-sex marriage but don't have the legalities in place to handle same-sex divorce, then your only option would be to try and get divorced in Canada, which requires a one-year residency. This only makes sense because Canada has no jurisdiction in any other country or state regarding property and custody therefore the individuals seeking divorce would effectively need to have their assets, property and custody issues settled or at least finalized prior to seeking a divorce in Canada; theoretically that could be completed within the one-year residency requirement.

I dunno, I hope I'm getting at least some of this right. As for this being a conservative plot, I just say simmer down. So far, this firestorm has started over the submissions of some junior-level federal lawyer.
More...
Posted by rubbercanuck on January 12, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
109
I wrote this in your comments a few days ago: I am a Canadian. It's getting ugly up here. Help!
Posted by MichelleZB on January 12, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Puty 110
So sorry, Dan. A lot of Canadians are fools and scumbags. Where I live more than 50 per cent voted for these fuckos. Canadians aren't the good guys we're made out to be.
Posted by Puty on January 12, 2012 at 1:23 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 111
@104: Canada has offered "marriages" willingly to many and has nullified them. Divorce isn't the main disgust that people are having over this decision.

The language "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."

has nothing to do with your argument.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 112
The main problem seems to me that neither of you meet the current definition of a Canadian Citizen, not having resided in Canada for 3 years or being born there.

To have standing, you'd have to meet that requirement.

Trust me, some of the gay Canadian soldiers I trained in the Army who got married are bound to sue, because they are owed benefits from the Feds.

Oh, and everyone always knew Harper was an ass.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
113
I may not have the whole legal environment of this particular case understood, but I do understand that the federal lawyer was an idiot for saying anything even remotely related to Canadian marriage law. This is about Canadian divorce law which is (unfortunately) a completely different beast. Marriage is managed by the Canadian provinces, Divorce is managed by the Federal Government.

The couple trying to divorce are claiming discrimination by the Canadian system, but the fault lies in the fact that getting legally married in Canada requires no residency, while the Divorce Act requires a year of residency in Canada to proceed. The couple in question do not want to or cannot do this, and to them, I say, "tough sh*t, I'm afraid".

These laws were in place when they utilized Canadian marriage law here so they should respect Canadian divorce laws as well. Doesn't seem so confusing to me. They won't be able to divorce from their Canadian wedding IN CANADA until they fulfill the residency requirement. It doesn't matter what the jurisdictions they live in recognize for same-sex partnerships; if they don't recognize Canadian same-sex marriages, they certainly aren't going to recognize Canadian divorce law. This couple are trying to find a loophole in Canadian law so that they can divorce without fulfilling the legal requirements. I don't understand how this discriminates them.....

As for that lawyer saying that if a jurisdiction doesn't recognize Canadian same-sex marriage it shouldn't be recognized in Canada, well that's just stupid. I don't understand how that stance has anything to do with the problem at hand.

Dan, I get from this that if you and Terry married in Canada but at some point wanted to get divorced, and Washington State has laws that recognize Canadian same-sex marriage but don't have the legalities in place to handle same-sex divorce, then your only option would be to try and get divorced in Canada, which requires a one-year residency. This only makes sense because Canada has no jurisdiction in any other country or state regarding property and custody therefore the individuals seeking divorce would effectively need to have their assets, property and custody issues settled or at least finalized prior to seeking a divorce in Canada; theoretically that could be completed within the one-year residency requirement.

I dunno, I hope I'm getting at least some of this right. As for this being a conservative plot, I just say simmer down. So far, this firestorm has started over the submissions of some junior-level federal lawyer.
More...
Posted by rubbercanuck on January 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
114
I'd just point out that this isn't really a gay issue per se, it has just come out as one (uh, pun intended, yeah). It's an issue caused by foreign marriage being transferable, but divorce law being local. This is why you can get married in Mexico and have it recognized at home, but you don't go to Mexico for the divorce. Mexico has no authority to impose the legal terms of the divorce.

Likewise, Canada can't divorce foreigners who don't live there. No country can.

Is this couple looking for division of property? That's local law to where they reside. Since their local law doesn't recognize their marriage, they can go to local court to divide up property following local property laws.

Canada can't grant them a legal divorce for this reason. If all they are looking for is some nominal declaration that Canada doesn't recognize they are married anymore, they have it now. Unfortunately, it comes off as a kick in the teeth by saying Canada never "really" recognized it anyway.

Frankly, what does it mean to say that a foreign country recognizes your marriage when the one you reside in doesn't? It has no bearing on anything functional. It only has meaning if you actually move to that country, in which case they CAN recognize it legally and can legally divorce you as long as you live there.

I don't see this has anything to do with politics, other than the obvious PR problems. It will exist in any country at any time with any government where foreigners can marry even when their home country doesn't recognize it.
Posted by Dashing Leech on January 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
115
I'd like to point out that this isn't really a gay issue per se, it has just come out as one (uh, pun intended, yeah). It's an issue caused by foreign marriage being transferable, but divorce law being local. This is why you can get married in Mexico and have it recognized at home, but you don't go to Mexico for the divorce. Mexico has no authority to impose the legal terms of the divorce.

Likewise, Canada can't divorce foreigners who don't live there. No country can.

Is this couple looking for division of property? That's local law to where they reside. Since their local law doesn't recognize their marriage, they can go to local court to divide up property following local property laws.

Canada can't grant them a legal divorce for this reason. If all they are looking for is some nominal declaration that Canada doesn't recognize they are married anymore, they have it now. Unfortunately, it comes off as a kick in the teeth by saying Canada never "really" recognized it anyway.

Frankly, what does it mean to say that a foreign country recognizes your marriage when the one you reside in doesn't? It has no bearing on anything functional. It only has meaning if you actually move to that country, in which case they CAN recognize it legally and can legally divorce you as long as you live there.

I don't see this has anything to do with politics, other than the obvious PR problems. It will exist in any country at any time with any government where foreigners can marry even when their home country doesn't recognize it.
Posted by Dashing Leech on January 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
116
uh can we please come up with an offensive santorum like name for harper? Perhaps someone vomits during anal sex or something along those lines?
Posted by marlon on January 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
117
It has everything to do with the argument. The issue at hand is, does the Ontario court have jurisdiction under the Divorce Act in order to grant the relief that the petitioners are seeking.

Canadian law--as it currently stands, requires two things for a marriage to be valid: the form of marriage must have complied with the lex loci celebrationis (a certificate of marriage is presumptive proof of that reuqirement) and both of the parties must have had the capacity to marry under their respective lex domicilii at the time the marriage was celebrated.

This has been the state of the law in Canada for centuries. It is the state of the law in every jurisdiction in the United States, subject to the "full faith and credit" provisions of the Constitution. It is the state of the law is almost every jurisdiction on earth.

Same sex couples are free to come here and go through a form of marriage--but they should not deceive themselves that an Ontario marriage certificate will be worth the paper it is printed on if one of them doesn't live in Ontario.

There is certainly a valid argument that these people have fallen into a lacuna that we should properly fill. But that is not a legal argument--it is a political argument, and it is a matter to be resolved by Parliament.
Posted by visagrunt on January 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 118
@114: "Is this couple looking for division of property? That's local law to where they reside"

Then why is the Justice Department involved? This is what does not make sense.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
119
Actually, rubbercanuck, you're incorrect.

Marriage and Divorce is a federal jurisdiction under section 91. Provincial jurisdiction extends only to the solemnization of marriage.

So Parliament gets to determine who is entitled to be married, and the provincial legislatures get to determine how they get married.
Posted by visagrunt on January 12, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
120
As a Canadian who lived under the bush Regime for eight years, I am not surprised by anything that harper does. He may not have started this directly, but my guess is that it is a way for him to test the waters. By giving harper a mandate, Canadians have empowered every little racist, homophobe and "I'm in love with the way it was 40 years ago" Neanderthals ( I apologize to the Neanderthals) They now believe that their time has come. I'm sorry that my fellow county couldn't see the harm that bush did to this country and decide to not go down the same path, but looks like they needed firsthand proof. In my mind, harper is much more dangerous than bush as harper actually believes the bullshit he is pushing.
Posted by kevin11 on January 12, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 121
@114: "I don't see this has anything to do with politics"

The recent implication that

"Second, same-sex marriages are legal in Canada only if they are also legal in the home country or state of the couple."

Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
122
uh, can we start a santorum like campaign for harper? perhaps someone who vomits during anal sex?
Posted by marlon on January 12, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 123
Did any of you people not read the article?

I mean really. LET ME POST IT AGAIN.

“In this case, neither party had the legal capacity to marry a person of the same sex under the laws of their respective domiciles – Florida and the United Kingdom,” Mr. Gaudet stated. “As a result, their marriage is not legally valid under Canadian law.”
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 1:43 PM · Report this
124
@118 "Then why is the Justice Department involved? This is what does not make sense."

Because the couple do not meet the residency requirement of the Divorce Act. Therefore they are seeking extraordinary relief and will need to compel the Central Registry of Divorce Actions to register the divorce. This is a federal government Registry, and they are represented by the Attorney General (Dept. of Justice).
Posted by visagrunt on January 12, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
125
Good points, everyone. I'm in agreement with what visigrunt said in 117. That's the point I was trying to make.
Posted by rubbercanuck on January 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
126
I'm confident this will be fixed and although I'm definitely not a supporter of the Harper government, I suspect they were taken by surprise.

However, if I adjust my tinfoil hat just right I can't help but detect an odd analogy with the Harper approach to abortion policy. For many years Canada has been the only country in the world without any laws respecting abortion. More than two decades ago our old abortion law was struck down by the Supreme Court and after repeated, unsuccessful attempts to introduce a new one (at a heavy cost to various political careers) the politicians just gave up and deferred to public opinion (which is that abortion is a medical, not a legal, issue). Recognizing the certain political suicide in reopening the abortion debate domestically, Harper pledged never to go there. But his two-faced government quietly eliminated all funds within foreign aid projects that might have been used to promote or provide abortions in recipient countries. The hypocrisy of denying the same rights to foreigners that they wouldn't dare deny to Canadian citizens is completely consistent with this story.
Posted by ZekeB on January 12, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 127
@124/125: You're utterly oblivious.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
128
@100, but as far as I can see he does have a point.

The problem is not whether or not Human Rights trump international law, or treaties between countries, in some ideal of justice. The problem is that the business of law (including international law) works as it works. And it wasn't invented or made to work like that just to oppress gay couples who just want to get married.

You want to change the system? M'kay, let's go about doing that. But complaining that people, especially civil servants, follow the system as it is instead of... of what? Civil disobedience? This complaint I find utterly unfair.

A legal argument is a legal argument is a legal argument. It depends on the system of laws currently in existence, not on whether or not I or you think that said laws (and the resulting argument) are intrinsically just, or moral, or ethic. We can very well dislike the system while acknowledging that the legal argument is indeed based on honest interpretatoins. The moral attitude then is to oppose the system and try to change, not complain about the honesty of the interpreation.
Posted by ankylosaur on January 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
129
Visigrunt puts it best in 117.

What sits wrong for me is that beyond the spoiled equality of my Canadian borders, people like Dan lose a right that should be theirs without question. I wish my country could provide him with the rights he's fighting so hard for, but in the end it is up to the U.S to accept marriage equality.

The Harper government is responsible for plenty of stupid decisions, but in this particular instance, it isn't.
Posted by lawboy on January 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 130
@129: "beyond the spoiled equality of my Canadian borders"

The representative stated that it does not exist within your Canadian borders, these marriages are invalid. Not invalid *for those purposes*. He stated that they were invalid. As in not valid for any purpose. As in nullified.

Why do people go so far to "respect" unjust laws, but give conservatives free reign to redefine reality (and language) as they see fit?

It's mind-boggling.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
131
Dan, I am just so, so sorry. This is unbelievably heartbreaking. And inhuman. And cruel. Best of luck to you and your husband (fuck them!), let's keep fighting the good fight.
Posted by Vicbee on January 12, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Report this
132
re Residency requirements:
Ontario does not have a residency requirement for getting married. Ontario marriage license application (PDF) here: http://www.forms.ssb.gov.on.ca/mbs/ssb/f…
The residency requirements of Ontario's Marriage Act apply only to who performs the marriage : http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statute…
Canada does have residency requirement for divorce, Divorce Act: "3. (1) A court in a province has jurisdiction to hear and determine a divorce proceeding if either spouse has been ordinarily resident in the province for at least one year immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding."
Posted by seeker6079 on January 12, 2012 at 2:05 PM · Report this
133
Fuck Stephen Harper.
This was never an issues before, why is it one now?

Posted by KatTheCanuckistan http://soundmusing.blogspot.com/ on January 12, 2012 at 2:06 PM · Report this
134
Hey Dan, now that we're both single again, will you marry me?
Posted by paulkidd on January 12, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
135
However this shakes out, my sincerest condolences to Mr Savage and to everyone else (potentially?) affected.
Posted by vennominon on January 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
136
@116, since Dan just gave us the definition of "rick" I say we use it! To "harper" is to french kiss someone who has just ricked santorum off your inner thighs.

how's that?
Posted by moosefan on January 12, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
137
This is not a hill Harper will want to die on. Expect the whole thing to fizzle out soon.
Posted by agony on January 12, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
138
“We have no intention of further re-opening or opening this issue,” Stephen Harper told reporters

Just you watch. What this will turn out to mean is that they've opened it up as much as they want to for now -- that this position will stand and will be the argument they will make. But they won't go "further", at least for now.

The "rogue lawyer" argument is silly. Federal cases have review by supervisors and, in some cases, all the way to the Attorney General.
Posted by BobSF_94117 on January 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
139
Visigrunt, you're confusing three things:
1. The issue of whether their marriage is valid in and of itself, in the jurisdiction in which it was celebrated. It is. Kindly refer to my (too-long) post @28: the lawyer's position regarding marriage validity is not only wrong, it is against Canadian Supreme Court caselaw and against the federal and provincial legislation which arose from that. It's a social conservative trial balloon to find a way to not enforce the law while saying you're respecting and enforcing the law. (Apparently somebody at Justice has been watching how the Roberts Court handles precedent, and getting ideas.)
2. The issue of whether or not their marriage can be accepted in their American state, outside the Canadian jurisdiction in which it was celebrated. The answer to that is no, given the bigoted laws in question. (There was a time before Loving v. Virginia, too. Wrong laws go on until killed.) That seems to go against the usual recognition of states for each other's marital laws, but that's a failing of the Canadian system, not the American one.
3. The issue of whether or not they can be divorced in Canada. They can't, or at least not until one of them is resident in Canada for at least one year before commencing the petition.
Thus endeth the lesson.
Posted by seeker6079 on January 12, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
140
Correction for @139: a failing of the American system, not the Canadian one.
Posted by seeker6079 on January 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
141
Sorry, seeker6079, but as far as validity in se is concerned, that's not the state of Canadian law.

The lex loci celebrationis only governs formal validity. A marriage certificate only proves that the two people when through a proper form of marriage and had it registered.

Essential validity of marriage has always been a matter of federal Common Law, and neither the courts nor Parliament have ever disturbed the Common Law that essential validity is a matter governed by the lex domiciliis of the parties. Parliament can and should close this gap, to be sure--but we should not pretend that the gap does not exist.
Posted by visagrunt on January 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 142
@139: <3

It's like they're going out of their way to appear dense and myopic. Well, on top of this "one must respect unjust laws and lawmakers because without laws..." cowardice.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 143
@141: If Canada chooses not to recognize valid gay marriage for all non-residents whenever it feels appropriate, this is something that should be publicized.

Don't be such a colossal asshole as to minimize this uncovered information whether it is "obvious" or "fully legal" or not.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
144
According to an article on Box Turtle Bulletin, Dan's marriage (and mine!) stand for now, because despite the lawyer's statement, the courts have not ruled on the matter and are unlikely to rule against equality. Here's the link: http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2012/01…

Posted by Clayton on January 12, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 145
@144: Then the lawyer should be taken to task for making extralegal statements (hah!)
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM · Report this
146
How can you make a legal argument and then turn a blind eye to matters that are not, "fully legal?"

I have never suggested that the law is fair, proper or not amenable to improvement. What I have said, is that the Attorney General has presented what I believe to be a correct summary of the state of the law in Canada, at the present time.

No court has yet had the opportunity to rule on whether the Common Law complies with the Charter--that will be a huge question mark to be resolved. Parliament may yet take the matter out of the courts' hands by conferring jurisdiction to dissolve marriages performed in Canada notwithstanding their essential validity.

But until either of these things happen, let's not demonize the government for speaking truth. Let's demonize the governments that have failed to do as Canada has done by establishing the rights of same sex couples to marry; and let's hold the government to account for closing the gap in the law that has become appearent.
Posted by visagrunt on January 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
147
An update from lgbt legal groups: perhaps their comments will clear up some of the obvious misinterpretations and misunderstandings that have been put forth in this comment section:

http://nclrights.wordpress.com/2012/01/1…

In other words, US couples married in Canada are, in all probability, still married in Canada, whatever this lawyer was saying. Their marriages are meaningless in US states that do not have marriage equality and in the eyes of the US government, but they always were. Residency requirements for divorce are residency requirements; they just must be clear to those who are doing the marrying and to couples who are getting married, or divorced as the case may be.
Posted by ErnestMc on January 12, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
148
Visagrunt @141 is correct regarding essential validity:
"For a marriage to be valid in law, the parties to the marriage must have capacity to marry according to the law of the domicile at the date of the marriage (essential validity) and they must comply with the solemnization requirements of the place where the marriage ceremony occurs (formal validity)."
Upadyhaha v. Sehgal (2000) 11 R.F.L. (5th) 210 (Ont.SCJ), para.26.

This anonymous fed lawyer might actually be right, much to my horror.
Posted by seeker6079 on January 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 149
@146: The last paragraph is more fair, but I have a hard time reconciling that with "I am equally a fan of the Rule of Law." in that there should never be any obligation to respect an unjust law, even at the same time that one must work through the system that exists. If you want people to change the system that exists, I understand that. An unjust system, a system that does not respect human rights and civil rights is not a system that can be expected to have respect returned to it.

It should not be respected because it IS, it should be respected because of what (and who) it represents. To me, to give it more respect than it deserves is reminiscent of the very worst forms of American Exceptionalism.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
150
treefort 1 wrote:
Aw, Dan. I'm so sorry. That's completely crappy. Jeez, why is Canada trying to emulate our Republican rubbish when they've been such a beacon of hope to the North.

The answer to this question is that the left in Canada is divided between two parties -- and that situation has handed a majority of seats in the federal Parliament to a fundamentalist-influenced right-wing party that enjoys the support of less than 40 per cent of voters.
Posted by integrate on January 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
BEG 151
@144 which is good news, yes. But I find the intercomplexity of the laws a headache, such as WA have that DP hinging on an extra-national law... Now the fun commences. Does WA's DP law include same sex couples? Does formalizing a WA DP instance when already married in Canada have other consequences?

This is why I stopped at the paralegal level when I dabbled for a while in law o.O
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on January 12, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
152
@Dan, I'm active in Canadian politics, and a man with two moms, and I can tell you that it is going to get much worse in Canada. In fact, this is just one shot in a volley that has been eroding the progressive social values of Canada since the Harper Conservatives took power in 2005.

Last week they also announced a massive defunding of the public health care system, and are currently reversing our soft laws on marijuana, imposing a system of mandatory minimum sentences.

In the realm of gay issues, the Harper government removed mention of marriage equity and acceptance of homosexuality from the guide for new immigrants. When increasing the age of consent (to 16, as I recall), the Conservatives added a special, higher age of consent for anal sex -at least two years more, though I cannot recall the exact change. A few months ago they also blocked a law that would recognize hate crimes against transgendered Canadians. The Canadian constitution would ensure that it will become the case, so the government voting down the law was purely a show of their agenda (and a waste of public money, as now this will have to go to the supreme court to be challenged and ultimately accepted).

Oy. My Moms are in Ontario right now and the Member of Parliament in their area doesn't believe in climate change, is a bigot on many levels, and wins elections with more then 50% of the vote when four people are in the race. Watch out for Canada, and Dan, if you can, think about getting a Santorum'ing of Stephen Harper. You would have a lot of support in this.
Posted by Nyima on January 12, 2012 at 3:03 PM · Report this
153
Remember that Rule of Law also includes the structures that exist for reviewing, extinguishing and amending law. Rule of Law means that the Government doesn't get to make s**t up in front of the Courts. Above all, Rule of Law includes section 15 and section 7 of the Charter.

The Attorney General has put this matter front and centre before the Courts because Parliament has not spoken. That is the responsible course for Government to take. I truly sympathize with those whose rights have been suddenly called into question. But I would rather that people in Dan's position know where they stand, than labour under a misapprehension.
Posted by visagrunt on January 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
154
WAIT!!! Its still before the courts - a dept of justice * lawyer* is arguing the legitimacy of same sex marriages where the parties come from countries where they can't be legally married. I agree thats a crazy argument because our divorce laws require residency, but the government has not nullified the marriages. I'd like to know where this federal employee got the okay to use this as his argument in court, but it is not the same thing as nullifying the marriages! The charter issue is that residency is required for a divorce, I assume this idiot lawyer thought nullifying the marriage would be a simple way of dealing with the issue, which is that they can't get a divorce in their home countries (US and England) and they can't get a divorce here in Canada without living here for a year. IT HAS NOT BEEN DECIDED ON YET!
Posted by mudmama on January 12, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 155
@153: Right, and this is a much less provocative approach. People need to know the specifics of the situation before them before they can respond appropriately.

I can't imagine "Rule of Law" carries *that* different connotations in the US than Canada and elsewhere, whenever it's wielded here, it's used bludgeoningly to quiet opposition (and even to discourage legal avenues of recourse), to justify unjust acts of all levels of government, and to morally justify horrible action because it was once or is now codified. I understand what your saying, but I can't see or hear it without the literal meaning being entwined with the people who most abuse it.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
156
Hi Dan, I think there is a slight over reaction on your part. Canada is not nullifying same sex marriages. What it's saying is that unless you are a Canadian resident, you cannot get divorced in Canada. The problem here is that, in the case of the two women who want to get divorced, they live in places where their same sex marriages are not recognized. Getting mad at the Harper government is kind of useless, because they weren't even the ones who made the law (I know, I hate the Harper government, and its easy to point a finger at them, but same sex marriage and all the laws that encompass them were brought in by the previous Liberal government in Canada) Really, what this all is, is a bureaucratic oversight that some lawyer saw. Do you think some old white straight guy who runs the country would have even THOUGHT about same-sex divorce? If same-sex marriage was such an outlandish idea to these ultra conservative morons, how is this any surprise? But what I find insulting, is the fact that you are shitting on my country, because we allowed you to get married and then because your marriage won't be recognized in your home country you have to blame us. Why is that? If Canada was such a good place to get married, Dan, why didn't you stay up here? We very much like your column, and you get all sorts of fringe benefits of being a Canadian citizen. Free health care, you can get divorced if you wanna, Tim Hortons coffee, maple syrup the whole shebang. We also treat same sex couples a lot nicer up here.

I think this outrage is all a matter of wanting your cake and eating it too. You and many other same sex couples rushed up on an impulse to get married in advance of your own nation/state/whatever legalized it without realizing the repercussions such an action may cause down the road. I can understand that a marriage is supposed to be the happiest of occasions, so nobody is really thinking about divorce, but come on, did you never hear the one about always reading the fine print?
More...
Posted by RealistCanadian on January 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 157
Ok jesus, what *you're* saying :/
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
158
I'm embarrassed to be Canadian today. My apologies to Dan, Terry, their son, and all of the families who have been hurt by this ridiculous clusterfuck. I promise to fight against this.
Posted by Amanda on January 12, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this
massmarrier 159
Visit Massachusetts if you have any qualms. I'll personally perform your re-marriage.

We had a similar stupid law, passed in 1913 to prevent out-of-state interracial couples from quicky marriages here, to return to their home states with the license. We dumped that law so folk from anywhere can wed here.

I've done four marriages, with my fifth and the second same-sex one, pending this year. The last couple was from France, who said it was a lot easier marry in MA and return married than wade through the French system.

I'll make it legal for sure.
Posted by massmarrier http://massmarrier.blogspot.com on January 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
160
Hi Dan et al,

So, by now you should know that this whole story was bullshit. Canada has same-sex marriages and upholds same.

The situ was all about enforcing private international law--under a divorce law that was set under precedent--ready for it?!!---around STRAIGHT foreigners coming to Canada and then wanting to get their divorce here, without residing here, prior to divorce. This has a lot to do with costs of dissolution in my country (and who pays for that foreign divorce?) and nothing to do with human rights.

BTW, here's a little ditty from the CDN Tourism Board (a federal governemnt agancy) on http://mediacentre.canada.travel/content…

Another thing: I find it ironic that you call my PM a "motherfucker" without bothering to check out veracity of this report. And I certainly can't ignore the fact that you don't have the legal right to marriage in your own state of Washington--then, gpo on to freak that a Canadian law will render your "we'll call it a "partnership'" law as it stands, impotent?.

Here's a fact: the PM Harper is no dummy. He has never made a statement (unlike some of your Repub. beauties) against SSM. Yes, like the Liberal and NDP parties here, he may have a few MP's who don't like change. But he is himself is pretty progressive (initiated a huge homeless housing program this past year, that no other CDN political party commited to). And of course, I must, tiresomely, point out there are many poli operatives in his party who are gay---and married. He is also not about to go against the wishes of the majority of Canadians, who support gay marriage.

Usually, I find I agree with 90% of what you write about, Dan. Just a little disappointed that your distaste and simple world view about anyone/anything called conservative (YOUR brand of conservativism, perhaps--not ours) colours everything you write about the vcurrent CDN government.

You've listened, without question to political operatives with an agenda, who use your own fear of US-style conservatism (and I feel sorry for Abe Lincoln and Bill Buckley, turning in their graves over the current state of that party) and to a dumbass, barely researched media story about a matter that in no way could have passed a constitional sniff test.

Still, those here in Canada who want to insist that they alone own "the golden key" and have still not suffieciently recovered from their own corrupt practices (go look up 'Adscam, Liberal Party of Canada, and Prime Minister Chretien) will continue to pretend that Harper a) wants to change laws around human rights or b) can change laws, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (he can't) and are being purely political. In other words---happy to deal in half truths. Or no truth at all.

By the way, my American friends, the definition of a Canadian: fiscally conservative, socially "progressive'. Isn't it time we all stopped demonizing someone because of a label and consider that they "get' the Constitution and human rights?

And next time, you might want to check out all the facts, before you go bonkers. It just makes you look silly and no better than the people you regularily acuse of knee-jerk reactions.

.

More...
Posted by CDN Chick on January 12, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
161
WAIT!!! Its still before the courts - a dept of justice * lawyer* is arguing the legitimacy of same sex marriages where the parties come from countries where they can't be legally married. I agree thats a crazy argument because our divorce laws require residency, but the government has not nullified the marriages. There's nothing wrong with a law requiring residency for the province to pay for the divorce (and taxpayers do foot part of the bill - and you can't get a divorce without having gone to family court regarding parenting plans wrt children who are part of the union)

I'd like to know where this federal employee got the okay to use this as his argument in court, but it is not the same thing as nullifying the marriages! Either this lawyer is now without a job for being an idiot, or because someone higher up is using him as a scapegoat. I would like to know that, but your marriage is sound.
Posted by mudmama on January 12, 2012 at 3:44 PM · Report this
massmarrier 162
Visit Massachusetts if you have any qualms about your marriage papers. I'll personally re-marry you two.

We had a similar stupid law passed in 1913 to keep the peace with racist states by prohibiting quicky marriages of out-of-state interracial couples. It was the same inanity — they'd surely return to their home with the paper and cause trouble. That law went away not long after Goodrich legalized same-sex marriages.

Under another MA law, I've solemnized four marriages as just a private citizen. One was same-sex, with a pending other one due this year. The last couple was French and straight. Her parents told me it was far easier to marry in MA and return with the document than wade through French bureaucracy.

An amusing angle is that requests to do these marriages go through the governor's office. The gov. who OK'ed my first gay marriage was Mitt Romney.
Posted by massmarrier http://massmarrier.blogspot.com on January 12, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
163
@mudmama,

Exactly. But I am expecting that what we will see is that this is a case where legal semantics (are they considered 'married' in their own domecile?) clashes with PROCESS (who's paying for this divorce?).

Worthwhile to note that Federal Minister has stated that they will find a way to close that loophole.
Posted by CDN Chick on January 12, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 164
@160: "So, by now you should know that this whole story was bullshit."

Instead of just calling it bullshit, can you reply to some of the comments who believe that it *is* something that can/will be pursued further based on existing law?

"By the way, my American friends, the definition of a Canadian: fiscally conservative, socially "progressive'. Isn't it time we all stopped demonizing someone because of a label and consider that they "get' the Constitution and human rights?"

How smug (and irrelevant.)
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
165
treefort 1 wrote:
Aw, Dan. I'm so sorry. That's completely crappy. Jeez, why is Canada trying to emulate our Republican rubbish when they've been such a beacon of hope to the North.

Here's why: The left is split between two competing parties -- a situation that allows the fundamentalist-influenced Conservative Party to win a majority of seats in the federal Parliament with only 40 % of the votes cast.
Posted by integrate on January 12, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
166
So if your marriage is annulled, do you get the cost of your wedding, honeymoon, and wedding anniversaries reimbursed?
Posted by Drew2u on January 12, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Rick Rutledge 167
I think you may have mis-read Mr. Harper's comments. I believe he was stating that the government was not going to re-open the issue, though this particular attorney may have thought that he had a clever argument and a personal agenda.

Lots of lawyers argue lots of positions every day, and many of them, in the end, have no legal consequence, because the judge doesn't buy it, or it flies in the face of precedent law. Just because the lawyer in question worksfor the government doesn't make it an official government position.

See also:

http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/ca_20120…
Posted by Rick Rutledge http://www.RickRutledgeLaw.com on January 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Rick Rutledge 168
Everybody calm down and be rational for a moment.

I think you may have mis-read Mr. Harper's comments. I believe he was stating that the government was not going to re-open the issue, though this particular attorney may have thought that he had a clever argument and a personal agenda.

Lots of lawyers argue lots of positions every day, and many of them, in the end, have no legal consequence, because the judge doesn't buy it, or it flies in the face of precedent law. Just because the lawyer in question worksfor the government doesn't make it an official government position.

Lambda Legal agrees. See also:

http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/ca_20120…
Posted by Rick Rutledge http://www.RickRutledgeLaw.com on January 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM · Report this
169
My husband Rodolfo and I married in Toronto on April 17, 2004. His parents attended along with other family members and friends. My son attended along with friends. I first learned of this early this morning in an email that my son sent me from Nova Scotia where he now lives. To say today has been roller coaster is an understatement. The latest statement from the U.S. organizations is reassuring.

I am sick and tired of being treated as a third class citizen. Today just serves as an example about how vulnerable we are. It is time for us to let those in power that we have had enough. the hate spewing forth from the Republican candidates for President is unacceptable. They should be accosted at upcoming debates by the LGBT community as well as our supporters. The conventions will be heavily patrolled by the police making the Occupy police actions looking like day camp.

I told my son this morning that I wish I could just live my life with my husband, go to work, come home and read, watch TV and relax. I want to focus my concern on my son, our daughter-in-law and our wonderful grandson. I want to focus my activism on what is good for the country and our planet.

I am tired of fighting for rights that all Americans should have. My son told me that I have fought hard for twenty years and it is time to let others carry the torch, that I had done far beyond my share. I told him that it doesn't work like that. I reminded him that I know people who have fought the good fight for 50+ years. I cannot sit back and watch. Today seemed to work out okay, at least I think it has. But it served a vital lesson. It shows just how fragile the rights we have won are and how easily the can be taken away. We must all remain vigilant and we cannot assume anything.

John R. Selig
John Selig Outspoken Podcast
(www.johnseligoutspoken.com - Podcast Blog)
www.johnselig.com (Personal Website)
More...
Posted by John Selig on January 12, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
170
@Rick Rutledge,

Thanks for a rationale post. Too many conspiracy theorists (yes, undead ayn rand, talkin' to YOU!).

I can understand the alarm over the initial report from Canadian media. Incomplete and, er..wrong.

But now realize, with disappointment, that Dan is happy with the misinformation. What a drag---thought he would be straight-up on his mistakes. #nosantaclauseither.
Posted by CDN Chick on January 12, 2012 at 4:46 PM · Report this
171
@153 "Responsible" does not in any way describe the Government's course of action here. I agree with your analysis that private international common law principles are problematic when applied to Canadian same-sex marriages where one or both parties wasn't resident in Canada prior to the marriage. (That will almost certainly include the marriages of some same-sex couples resident in Canada after the marriage.)

Upon a government lawyer figuring that out, they would have several courses of action available. They could conclude that such an inequity would of course be prevented by the application of the Charter, and therefore not bring the argument forward in court. They could prepare draft legislation to provide clarity that the marriages are indeed valid. They could even conclude that the marriages are invalid, and try and break the news in a controlled manner that attempts to convey some minimal level of respect for the parties involved.

But it takes a bloody cold, heartless bastard to simply assert the invalidity of 5000 marriages in court without any conception of the ramifications or regard for those affected. Both political astuteness and human decency would have ruled out the path that the government chose.
Posted by Ionian on January 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
172
Harper didn't have my vote before, but this just adds fuel to the fire for me. I might actually get off my lazy ass and help campaign against him next time...except now we have to wait another 4 or 5 years.
I hope this gets cleared up in a reasonable manner, and quickly!
Posted by ErikC on January 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
173
@undeadaynrand. See @Rick Rutledge legal post for answer, #168.

Not smug or irrelevent. Americans are global leaders in painting, amrketing and advertising negative narratives about "others", whether from left or right. This might be why your economy remains shite and you still have issues over universal health care.

Sadly, some of my Canadian compatriats are starting to learn these loathsome tactics.
Posted by CDN Chick on January 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
174
@Ionian

"But it takes a bloody cold, heartless bastard to simply assert the invalidity of 5000 marriages in court without any conception of the ramifications or regard for those affected. Both political astuteness and human decency would have ruled out the path that the government chose."

Yes, true. From the Attorney General's Ministry---where they are supposed to be independent of the PMO (Prime Minister's Office). Legal not supposed to report to political.

My feeling: someone was thinkinking like a lawyer. Not a canny politician.
Posted by CDN Chick on January 12, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 175
@173: "Not smug or irrelevent. Americans are global leaders in painting, amrketing and advertising negative narratives about "others", whether from left or right. This might be why your economy remains shite and you still have issues over universal health care."

Your claims that the Left has any place in American politics is a sure sign that you have no clue what you're talking about with regards to the United States. Stop telling *us* what we believe, thanks.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 12, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
176
From LAMDALEGAL (today)...

(San Francisco, CA, January 12, 2012)—The following is a joint statement from Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and Freedom to Marry:

We write to respond to a news report from Canada that a lawyer in the current government has taken a position in a trial-level divorce proceeding that a same-sex couple’s marriage is not valid because the members of the couple were not Canada residents at the time that they married, and the law of their home jurisdiction did not permit them to marry at the time.

No one’s marriage has been invalidated or is likely to be invalidated. The position taken by one government lawyer in a divorce is not itself precedential. No court has accepted this view and there is no reason to believe that either Canada’s courts or its Parliament would agree with this position, which no one has asserted before during the eight years that same-sex couples have had the freedom to marry in Canada.

Canada permits non-residents to marry and thousands of non-resident same-sex couples have married there since Canada first began recognizing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in 2003. Indeed, Canada’s Parliament codified the equal right to marry for same-sex couples in 2005.

The message for same-sex couples married in Canada remains the same as it is for same-sex couples validly married here in the United States: take every precaution you can to protect your relationship with legal documents such as powers of attorney and adoptions, as you may travel to jurisdictions that don't respect your legal relationship. There is no reason to suggest that Canadian marriages of same-sex couples are in jeopardy, or to advocate that people try to marry again elsewhere, as that could cause these couples unnecessary complications, anxiety, and expense.
More...
Posted by CDN Chick on January 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
Sea Otter 177
On behalf of Canada, I am sorry (not that I voted for those bastards).

Harper's style could be described as federalist bully. He claims to be against "big government" but panders to the social conservative vote by using federal jurisdiction to pick on relatively defenseless minority groups.

I can't wait until we get rid of him.
Posted by Sea Otter on January 12, 2012 at 5:23 PM · Report this
178
Dan, I'm so sorry. Please, please know that the majority of Canadians are sane, reasonable people who are so totally ashamed right now of this douchebag government.

It's so stupid- there was a bit of a debate going on a decade ago when they decided to legalize same-sex marriage up here, but what I like about Canadians was that the ones who didn't support it seemed to just accept it and be (the magic word) tolerant of it even if they didn't personally agree with it. Whatever, let's just move on and deal with other stuff kind of thing.

And then I read this. This stupid thing that our stupid government said that is so unbelievably frustrating and makes me ashamed of my country. I promise to be loud to other Canadians about this to try to repair our image.

For a kick-ass Canadian federal politician, go here: http://www.oliviachow.ca/
Posted by daydreambeliever on January 12, 2012 at 5:25 PM · Report this
179
@daydreambeliever and Sea otter.

You make me ashamed to be Canadian because of your own simplistic (and of course, wholly political) misrepresentation of what has happened.

if you don't believe me, go to your computer in about 20 minutes.

Lookup news station CKNW.com, who have just done an interview with a gay lawyer from Toronto.

Click on "Audio Vault". Arrange today's date and go to time. Show as 5pm (PST).
Click on "Start". New screen will open with audio.
Drag audio tab to 40:00 minute mark 9past the hour0. It is a 10 minute interview.

Well, that won't convince the "haters" or political frat boyz. But reasonable people can judge for themselves.
Posted by CDN Chick on January 12, 2012 at 5:58 PM · Report this
180
@undead ayn rand,

Oh, yes, left doesn't exist in America. Just because you think Obabm has failed---I don't think he has. Nor do I think he is "right wing'. He is just in the pragmatic middle, which far lefties just hate. Hope he is re-elected, especially in light of the scaries running for the other party.

Really, what makes far left that differnet from far right, my friend. They both beleivve they have *perfect* answers! Or, perhaps only you do.

I'll stop telling you that you are wrong on this, when you recognize and admit that you don't know much about Canada, or the diversity we have within political parties.I would say that your last statement is typical of your arrogance--as well asyour ignorance.

Posted by CDN Chick on January 12, 2012 at 6:07 PM · Report this
puppydogtails 181
Seconding CDN Chick. This was a tempest in a teacup. I'm sure a lot of people will be embarrassed by their overreactions in coming days.
Posted by puppydogtails on January 12, 2012 at 6:07 PM · Report this
182
My suggestion is that every person who's marriage would be voided by this action file a class action lawsuit against Canada for a full refunding of all wedding expenses.
Posted by Beelzeboy on January 12, 2012 at 6:50 PM · Report this
183
My suggestion is that every person who's marriage would be voided by this action file a class action lawsuit against Canada for a full refunding of all wedding expenses. Canada made a lot of money off of gay weddings. Hit them where it hurts. Take that money back.
Posted by Beelzeboy on January 12, 2012 at 6:57 PM · Report this
184
uh-oh!

BREAKING NEWS:

January 12, 2012 7pm PST: Lawyer for US lesbian couple, happy that Minister will close loophole, notes "a lot of OVERBLOWN stuff" saying "someone wrote an article about "how his husband has been turned into boyfriend".

Gosh, whoever could she be referencing? ;-)
Posted by CDN Chick on January 12, 2012 at 7:06 PM · Report this
185
I'm with you, Danny boy. I'm so embarrasse­d and ashamed by this troglodyti­c government­, I can't begin to tell you. Maybe it's time to come up with a neologism (heavy on the last syllable) that describes our stinky PM. Hmmmm....w­hat does it mean to "Harper"?
Posted by PetertheChanter on January 12, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
186
Nobody seems to be getting the point here and I am ashamed that too many Canadians posting here are ignorant of how Canada is governed.

Canada is available as a destination marriage venue. But it has been Canadian legal practice for well over 150 years that a destination marriage will be governed by the Family Law of the jurisdiction in which the couple resides. In other words Dan, Canadian Family Law has no force in Washington State. If you and your husband wish to dissolve your Domestic Partnership, it must be done in accordance with the Family Law of Washington State, not the Family Law of Canada. For instance, Washington Law would take precedence over Canadian law in Washington State when it comes to division of property and child custody. Now you can get a divorce in Canada if you follow the residency regulations that apply to both straight and gay couples. Don't expect Canada to become the Reno for divorcing gay couples. It isn't going to happen.
Posted by tmrobertca on January 12, 2012 at 7:44 PM · Report this
187
Dan, I can't tell you how profoundly sad and demoralizing it's been, as a Canadian, watching the Harper government slowly dismantle the country I love over the six years it's currently been in power. Now that they have won a majority government — albeit with only 39% of the country's votes, due to our first-past-the-post, multi-party system — we're stuck with them until at least 2015.

Harper is fanatically obsessed with controlling his party's message and his own image. He's extremely vindictive, bent not only on beating his opponents at the polls, but on destroying them. He made it his mission to destroy the Liberal Party, and he pretty much has, by an endless campaign of muck-raking and between election attack ads.

I've voted. I've spoken out. I've done everything in my limited power as an average Canadian citizen to try to make my voice heard through typical means. And now I'm going to put on my wordsmithing hat and try to throw a petty little wrench into Harper's perfectly-controlled image because I honestly feel it's the last strategy I've got left to push back against his nonsense.

harper
(n.)
A bowel movement that delays or interrupts sexual intercourse.

Hope that's sufficiently stinky for you, PetertheChanter. :)
Posted by WhiteRabbit on January 12, 2012 at 8:39 PM · Report this
188
Today there was some news about same sex marriages in Canada being reversed.

Much of the reporting of this issue has been salacious and false. Let me clear the air:

No ruling has been made on this matter, and we don't expect a ruling from an

Ontario court for another month (if they don't defer to feds).

The PMO has made no statement on this issue, except to state that they will make one.

The Justice Minister has commented that they will be looking to revise the divorce act.

The application made to an Ontario court was for a non-resident couple who are seeking a divorce (they were married here). Canadian law mandates that no divorce can be granted to a couple in Canada unless they have been resident here for at least one year.

In responding to the application which was made, a crown attorney has made three arguments: a) no divorce can be granted because the couple has not been resident for the requisite amount of time; OR (b) the couple has no standing to challenge the constitutional validity of that requirement because they are not canadian; OR (c) no divorce can be sought because the marriage wasn't legal in the first place.

These are alternative legal arguments and simply represent the view of this crown attorney who is simply trying to do his job - Canadian law does not permit this couple to be divorced. It is difficult to reject the first two arguments as they are rooted in law. The third alternative is likely a mistake.

There has been no reversal in policy in this country, and a crown attorney's statements, last time i checked, do not make law.

There is every expectation within the legal community that the divorce act will be amended to do away with the residency requirement in limited circumstances (such as these). I would further expect the PMO to make their position well known in very short order.
More...
Posted by maleko on January 12, 2012 at 8:59 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 189
@29 once a Canadian, always a Canadian. Sue the feds.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 12, 2012 at 10:49 PM · Report this
190
Sorry to hear this. I want to reproduce your statement on my blog. Let me know if that is not cool with you. http://bit.ly/TheTwainshallMeet.

I've been cursing at that foolish Wizard of Odd Neo-con myself for years now. Good luck
Posted by Kim Leaman on January 12, 2012 at 11:11 PM · Report this
191
I can't imagine where this Government gets its nerve! You at least have a voice. I can imagine that there are lots of similar stories out there. People who's stories go untold.

I've been trying to warn this Country about Stephen Harper for 4 solid years now! I am hoping that it will be OK to use this story (your story) in a blog of my own. It is called The Twain Shall Meet. It can be found at http//bit.ly/TheTwainShallMeet.

I am guessing that both you and your husband are now wide awake!

Help Canada ~ Wake the Others!
Posted by Kim Leaman on January 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM · Report this
192
As much as I think Mr. Harper is a wonderful prime minister for making our country an economic hotspot, and for not listening to his religious base and re-opening the same-sex marriage debate for a possible repeal; this has really turned into a clusterfuck of an embarrassment for the Harper Government who has been trying so hard to focus on economic issues and not the social issues -like same-sex marriage- that the previous Martin government passed. He has to know that at this point, there has to be a giant majority of Canadians who now support same-sex marriage, even the religious canadians, and that by re-opening it, he runs the risk of loosing the majority he spent over half a decade trying to achieve.
Posted by AndrewEB on January 12, 2012 at 11:39 PM · Report this
193
As much as I think Mr. Harper is a wonderful prime minister for making our country an economic hotspot, and for not listening to his religious base and re-opening the same-sex marriage debate for a possible repeal; this has really turned into a clusterfuck of an embarrassment for the Harper Government who has been trying so hard to focus on economic issues and not the social issues -like same-sex marriage- that the previous Martin government passed. He has to know that at this point, there has to be a giant majority of Canadians who now support same-sex marriage, even the religious canadians, so re-opening this issue will run the risk of loosing the majority he has been working his ass off for over half a decade.
Posted by AndrewEB on January 12, 2012 at 11:42 PM · Report this
194
Dan -

I have never been so disappointed in you as I now am. I always thought so highly of you because you were one of few media personalities that took the time to research topics and present facts to your audience.

Here's something for you to think about. I, as a Candian citizen *CANNOT* get divorced in Canada because I have been a non-resident for 15 years.

So it's not just gay folks who have potential problems. Us white, non-residental girls (and boys) would be treated the same way.
Posted by NorwegianCanuck on January 13, 2012 at 12:47 AM · Report this
195
We Canadians have to bear the responsibility of the shabby state of our Democracy :(

We have done so with this websiite.
Sorry, World. We fucked up.
www.sorryworld.ca

Ps. May I suggest a Santorumlike name for Harper? Like, Harpering is putting a wind instrument up your butt and farting, causing the instrument to play?
Posted by JordanArsonist on January 13, 2012 at 1:04 AM · Report this
196
We Canadians have to bear the responsibility of the shabby state of our Democracy :(

We have done so with this websiite.
Sorry, World. We fucked up.
www.sorryworld.ca

Ps. May I suggest a Santorumlike name for Harper? Like, Harpering is putting a wind instrument up your butt and farting, causing the instrument to play?
Posted by JordanArsonist on January 13, 2012 at 1:06 AM · Report this
197
I am an American who married a Canadian and moved to Vancouver. A couple of years later we got divorced. It was no problem since I had the year residency and still live here. However, how are non-residents supposed to live here to meet the one year requirement? Its not like moving from California to New York, or Ohio to Florida. You have to go through an immigration process. The quickest way is to get married to a Canadian. But then you're a bigamist! The "skilled worker" program takes many years. This has been known as a major problem since same-sex marriage started. But no one bothered to think about it til now.
Posted by soontobecanuckcitizen on January 13, 2012 at 1:24 AM · Report this
198
Here is the article from CKNW that CDC Chick above mentioned:

Lawyer says fix is on the way
Posted by ankylosaur on January 13, 2012 at 7:34 AM · Report this
199
CDN chick, that is -- sorry!
Posted by ankylosaur on January 13, 2012 at 7:36 AM · Report this
200
Dan, and everyone... there is a lot of question about whether the govt had a direct role in this, and what it really means. Read this article by a Halifax lawyer and queer activist who puts it in legal perspective: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kevin-kin…
Posted by Waye Mason on January 13, 2012 at 7:41 AM · Report this
201
Dan, and everyone... there is a lot of question about whether the govt had a direct role in this, and what it really means. Read this article by a Halifax lawyer and queer activist who puts it in legal perspective: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kevin-kin…
Posted by Waye Mason on January 13, 2012 at 7:43 AM · Report this
202
@174: The courts are independent of government, but the Attorney General certainly is not; he reports to the Prime Minister, and government lawyers absolutely do take into account government policy when making arguments in court. The Justice department is essentially the Government's law firm.

That's not to say that I think that this was a conscious policy decision at high levels - the PM and Justice Minister clearly had the responses of someone who had not been briefed. But to fail to recognize it as a significant policy decision at low levels is quite extraordinarily poor judgement.
Posted by Ionian on January 13, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
203
The Justice Minister made a speech this morning and made it very clear, very clear, that they will fix the problem with the law as it stands now and that they have no intention of invalidating any marriages. He said the gov't will not re-open the debate on same-sex marriage and all marriages of foreigners will be fully legally recognized.
Posted by maxguy on January 13, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
204
My main thought when reading this is that I don't even understand how any of this is UP to the government! It drives me nuts. How can they decide who may & may not marry? So ridiculous.

Best of luck to the LGBT community in this fight... I truly hope it's a misunderstanding, and I will lend my support in any way possible.
Posted by DevinH1215 on January 13, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
205
I really don't like how this one story has turned into a shit-storm about how Canada's government is trying to regress LGBT civil rights. This is clearly just a mis-step on someone's part, and not much else. But now we have Dan Savage spreading this around the entire world... Please, take a step back and remove yourself a bit from the situation before you let these issues fly to the wind... I'm by no means a supporter of our Conservative government, but I do note that Harper, at every occasion when confronted with the issue of same-sex marriage, has CLEARLY stated he has no intention of revisiting the issue. It's legal in Canada and he isn't going to try and take that away from anyone.
I'm sorry, Dan, but I really hate this article. You completely misunderstood the meaning of our Prime Minister's comments. I think that even though the situation means a lot to you, you need to take a step back before you write posts like this...
Posted by ruralguy90 on January 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
206
I really don't like how this one story has turned into a shit-storm about how Canada's government is trying to regress LGBT civil rights. This is clearly just a mis-step on someone's part, and not much else. But now we have Dan Savage spreading this around the entire world... Please, take a step back and remove yourself a bit from the situation before you let these issues fly to the wind... I'm by no means a supporter of our Conservative government, but I do note that Harper, at every occasion when confronted with the issue of same-sex marriage, has CLEARLY stated he has no intention of revisiting the issue. It's legal in Canada and he isn't going to try and take that away from anyone.
I'm sorry, Dan, but I really hate this article. You completely misunderstood the meaning of our Prime Minister's comments. I think that even though the situation means a lot to you, you need to take a step back before you write posts like this...
Posted by ruralguy90 on January 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
207
Hi all,

Good to see that things are progressing. I believe that there was no intent or ill will on behalf of the Harper government.

In saying that, I don't think this fix will be easy, or instantaneous, and there are other points of law to be considered within a larger context.

1) In Canada, whether marriage is between straight or gays, there is a requirement to wait a year before that final divorce decree. If foreign couples, straight and gay, who were married here, can come back, without residency, does this mean they will in effect be granted a "quickie divorce"? Or, will they be required to file and then return after a year? One of the ironic effects of that divorce law is to try to stop any people from creating fake marriags in the first place (mainly for immigration purposes).

Additionally, would there be an inequity in this wait time, between straights and gays married in Canada, who make Canada their main domecile, and peole married in Canda, but who do not make canda their main domecile. That wouldn't go over with the locals.

2) Jurisdiction. As many of you know, from reading pieces posted by the legal community in both our countries, there is the practice of internationally recogized and used private law, which basically says that countries respect the jurisdiction of the main domecile of people. Besides the questions of whether Canada could/should unilaterally put that aside, there is the question of community property and child custody rights.

If a couple comes back to Canada to file for divorce, is the court system here supposed to decide on dispostion/share of property between the parties? i am pretty sure that civil law is differnet not only between our countries, but between province to state. Same question for legal involving children. (just look at people in your own country who try to jurisdictionally change from state-to-state when icomes to community property laws. e.g. trying to mov divorce hearing from California to Florida. And then consider that there are such big differences in legal definitions between "marraige" and " legal union" in all the different jurisdaictions, including property ownership and issues with kids. My head hurts.

There's lots more to figure out here, including how a Canadian province would charge out for divorce. I do want to point out that, according to a gay friend's Twitter posts, that he has discovered that many couples coming here from all over the world (straight) for the last 40 years, have had their marriages declared null and void, when it came time to come back for a divorce. The law here, on the divorce side, has been an accident waiting to happen, according to many family law experts. Not fun, it will take time to sort out, but be sorted out it must. Take the advice of your legal experts: know what the consequences are of marrying in a country, when it comes to divorce!

The bottom line: everyone who is married, under law in Canada, should be recognized as married, when in comes time to divorce (more irony!).

Now I'm worried about the implications (should they divorce) of a relative who was just married in Palm Springs and who lives in Canada. So, everyone, try to stay married.

And may I say, that I hope that other states (hello, Washington, you're supposed to be liberal!) get a move on with their recognition and validation of same sex marriage. Have a good weekend, all.
More...
Posted by CDN Chick on January 13, 2012 at 3:56 PM · Report this
208
A good synopsis here, from Andrew Coyne.

No "reversal of policy". No "hard line". Legal precedent (boring). A very savvy lawyer, who turned up the emotional heat. And some really shoddy reporting by some media outlets. No way to run a crisis, guys. Manufactured, or otherwise.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012…
Posted by CDN Chick on January 13, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
209
WOW! Way to jump to conclusions people. Do your homework and at least consider what the government's postion is before having a freak-out on this issue. Talk about massive over-reaction!

‎"I want to make it very clear that, in our government’s view, these marriages should be valid. 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," Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Friday: http://www.cbc.ca/news/​politics/s…
Posted by rjp123 on January 13, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
210
‎"I want to make it very clear that, in our government’s view, these marriages should be valid. 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," Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Friday: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/20…
Posted by rjp123 on January 13, 2012 at 5:07 PM · Report this
the regina mom 211
Interesting that the Official Opposition, the New Democratic Party, raised the problem with the legislation in the House of Commons in October and the HarperCons did nothing about it! See http://bit.ly/w10cjM

Oh, I have a bad case of Harperoids!
Posted by the regina mom http://thereginamom.com on January 13, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
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@the regina mom

They could have raised it when it became entrenched under PM Paul Martin, in 2001.

And please, no "regina" jokes.
Posted by CDN Chick on January 13, 2012 at 5:24 PM · Report this
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While I sympathize with the Canadians present who appear to have been correct that Mr Savage might have overreacted, I suspect that, had Mr Savage given the apparently disturbing development a calm appraisal and a patient response, it might have become his Kitty Dukakis moment.
Posted by vennominon on January 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM · Report this
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I think that the situation that has arisen is unfortunate to say the least. I am appalled to go online and continually see postings from friends all over the world (though not many from my Canadian friends) about how Canada is single handedly about to undo gay marriage in North America.

I'm embarrassed and angry. Not only that some Crown Prosecutor (read District Attorney) made a dumbass argument in hopes of avoiding having to involve Canada in a foreign divorce proceeding (because that's how it started, not with Parliament) but because everyone is FREAKING OUT.

By all means, if you have crossed the border to get legally married in Canada, then you have every right to worry about your marriage being nullified. I would also like for all the people freaking out to maybe take a moment and understand how our government works? Maybe look up the marriage act in Canada. Maybe spend longer than five minutes reading an "article" online and find out what the hell is really going on.

The reason I haven't seen many Canadians posting, including my gay family members who I spoke to yesterday, is because the government in Canada knows that Canadians are upset about this mistake, and we want them to fix it. So they will. We know that. We will yell and be pissed off about it, but we have faith that they WILL fix it.

It started over the idea that DIVORCE wasn't possible, not marriage, for non residents, and the federal government has said that they are going to fix it so that ALL marriages are recognized as legal in Canada, even they aren't recognized as legal in other countries. I love reading Dan, and have for years. I HATE that I have to read his derisive (and justified) comments about my country, but there's more to the "debate" than is posted here.
More...
Posted by Natadelle on January 13, 2012 at 8:41 PM · Report this
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Hey Dan....I found this Queer Canadian commentary enlightening...you're even mentioned in it.

Perhaps you should give it a skim

http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/The_s…
Posted by Joe Peraino on January 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
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Hey Dan....I found this Queer Canadian commentary enlightening...you're even mentioned in it.

Perhaps you should give it a skim

http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/The_s…
Posted by Joe Peraino on January 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
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My fiancee regret to marry me and run away. I was devastated. All our plans destroyed. Another spellcaster recommended prophetharry@ymail.com, he did one of his lovespell and my BF came back to me with a diamond ring, a dozen of roses and a box of chocolates. I am satisfied and happy to follow my instincts on this. i am happy again.Ana,
Posted by anakasuwa on July 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
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My fiancee regret to marry me and run away. I was devastated. All our plans destroyed. someone recommended prophetharry@ymail.com to me, i wrote him my problem and he did one of his lovespell and my BF came back to me with a diamond ring, a dozen of roses and a box of chocolates. I am satisfied and happy to follow my instincts on this. i am happy again.
Posted by anakasuwa on July 25, 2012 at 11:22 PM · Report this
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Since prophetharry@ymail.com cast a spell for me, things are going great in my marriage life. The man who once was cheating on me almost every week is now a loyal and dedicated boyfriend. I’m glad I didn’t break up with him because I love him from the bottom of my heart, but without prophetharry’s help, all of this couldn’t happen or even be possible. It is the first time I am using the service of a spellcaster and even if I was a bit skeptical at first, I highly recommend his service to people like me who need an extra help.
Posted by lucyvalerie on July 26, 2012 at 6:23 AM · Report this
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I am Agustine from Australia i want to thank Dr Humen for what he has done for me at first i thought i will never my love back again until i decided to give it a trie. i told him that my ex lover which i loved with all my heart left me for another woman all Dr Humen did was to laugh and said he will be back to me in 2days time i taught he was lying on the 2rd day my ex called me and said he want to see me,i was shocked then he came over to my place and started begging that he was bewitched,immediately i forgives him and now we are back and he his really madly in love with me.All thanks to Dr Humen he indeed wonderful incise you wanna contact him here his is private mail humenhealingtemple@yahoo.com
Posted by agustine on October 25, 2012 at 12:46 AM · Report this
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I am Agustine from Australia i want to thank Dr Humen for what he has done for me at first i thought i will never my love back again until i decided to give it a trie. i told him that my ex lover which i loved with all my heart left me for another woman all Dr Humen did was to laugh and said he will be back to me in 2days time i taught he was lying on the 2rd day my ex called me and said he want to see me,i was shocked then he came over to my place and started begging that he was bewitched,immediately i forgives him and now we are back and he his really madly in love with me.All thanks to Dr Humen he indeed wonderful incise you wanna contact him here his is private mail humenhealingtemple@yahoo.com
Posted by agustine on October 25, 2012 at 12:52 AM · Report this
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Hello everyone my name is Elizabeth,i came across this man called Dr.Ogungbe through a Lady here online and she said he helped her bring back her lost love,i don't believe in this but i come to think about it and use faith and hope to contact this man last 2 weeks,i have lost my husband for 2 years even he is trying to get married to another lady in Italy,Rome..i quickly rush and email dr.Ogungbe for help and i thought its still a freak because i don't really believe he can bring him back to me because its too long we have contacted each other,we only comment on each other status on facebook and when ever he come online he has never talk anything about coming back to me,now i really believe that there is Magic and Dr.Ogungbe is a really God sent and has Magic because all these things is still like a dream to me,Dr.Ogungbe told me in the first mail that everything will be fine,i called him and he assure me,i have so many doubt but now am happy,i can't believe my love broke up with his Italian lady and he is now coming back to me and he can't even explain how everything goes all he said to me is that he want me back,i am really happy and cried so much because it was just like i am born a new and am really happy and my entire family are happy for me but they never know whats the secret behind this...i want you all divorce lady or single mother to please contact this man for help and everything will be fine i really guarantee you..i have tell 2 of my friends who are in unhappy relationship and they have seen solution in few days ago...if you want to contact him you can reach him through (dr.ifaogungbe@live.com) (+2348131210107) that is where you can get to him and i assure you it gonna work fine with you and you will be happy
i am out of words am just happy and i will be happy forever because i can never have any problem having this man
Elizabeth is my name
More...
Posted by thanks44 on February 5, 2013 at 5:27 AM · Report this
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i want you all divorce lady or single mother to please contact this man for help and everything will be fine i really guarantee you..i have tell 2 of my friends who are in unhappy relationship and they have seen solution in few days ago...if you want to contact him you can reach him through (dr.ifaogungbe@live.com) (+2348131210107) that is where you can get to him and i assure you it gonna work fine with you and you will be happy
i am out of words am just happy and i will be happy forever because i can never have any problem having this man
Elizabeth is my name
Posted by thanks44 on February 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
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"My boyfriend of a year broke up with me in June... and after weeks of tears and heartache my ex and I have made up. We're now back together, all thanks to rainspelltemple@gmail.com. We spent the whole weekend together and have decided to work on our relationship.I want to keep saying thank you, because it truly helps, there are just so many things that you do not see when you are in the throws of a situation, and Wow! All I can say is Wow!!!!!!!!!! Tochi
Posted by tochi on February 14, 2013 at 9:04 PM · Report this
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Hello Every one out here!!
I want to share my testimony and my happiness with you all in this site, last year my husband left me for another woman in his working place and he abandon me and my 2kids, everything was so hard for me because i love him so much, so i saw the testimonies of Dr.Magbu how he has been helping ladies in getting there husband back so i contacted him and he help me to cast a return spell for my husband and in 3 days my husband left the other woman and he come back to me with so much love and caring. i will never forget this help that Dr.Magbu gave to me and my children.if you are here you need help to get you lover back you can contact him through this email reunitingexspell@gmail.com, i am proud to be on his testimony page. Angela

Posted by angela1 on February 28, 2013 at 7:35 AM · Report this
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Hello Every one out here!!
I want to share my testimony and my happiness with you all in this site, last year my husband left me for another woman in his working place and he abandon me and my 2kids, everything was so hard for me because i love him so much, so i saw the testimonies of Dr.Magbu how he has been helping ladies in getting there husband back so i contacted him and he help me to cast a return spell for my husband and in 3 days my husband left the other woman and he come back to me with so much love and caring. i will never forget this help that Dr.Magbu gave to me and my children.if you are here you need help to get you lover back you can contact him through this email reunitingexspell@gmail.com, i am proud to be on his testimony page. Angela

Posted by angela1 on February 28, 2013 at 7:41 AM · Report this
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Am now happy happy and happy, I believe Dr olumba now, After so many comments on how Dr Olumba helped alot of people got back their Ex, Jobs and properties, i contacted him and tell my story of how a lady broke my relationship, Been married for 8yrs and with 3kids, suddenly my Husband moved out and told me never to contact him again, i was so heart broken, depressed and sad, after all the story, Dr Olumba told me to put my mind at rest and told me that all my problems will be solved in 48hrs , i was still hoping until Dr called me again for my husbands picture and told me, i will have to get some items and i did all he asked me, on Sunday morning David came home by himself and knelt down to beg me, weeping bitterly and asked for forgiveness, i did forgive him and i told Dr olumba about everything and he said all he wants from me is to share the good news with the world so people out there , here is a prove that real casters are still online, for any kind of problems that need solutions, contact Dr Olumba : olumbaspiritualproblemsolver@gmail.com or cell number +2348169108089

Pamela (Canada)
Posted by Pamela1 on March 13, 2013 at 12:06 AM · Report this
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I was skeptical about magic spells. For me i thought love spell was a movie thing though but I was ready to try anything to get my husband back, which this spell dr.marnish@yahoo.com did for me, I've appreciated the fact that he solved my relationship issue in a perfect way, call him +15036626930 if you need help to get your lover back

Posted by blimberg on September 26, 2013 at 2:40 PM · Report this
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I want to specially thank Dr Wisdom of drwisdomspelltemple@gmail.com for casting a love spell that brought back my ex husband in three days i really do not know what i would have done if not for you Dr Wisdom,i want to inform you that your spell did not only brought back my ex but has also brought happiness to our lives.thank you very much for your kindness .........
Posted by mrslaura on October 25, 2013 at 5:37 PM · Report this
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i want to use this medium to anounce to the world about the love spell i order from doc obodo get bring my love it was really powerful ,if you want to get help from doc obodo ,you can call (+2348155425481 , templeofanswer@hotmail.co.uk) he is really

from Niktah ,Australia
Posted by anounymous on December 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM · Report this
288
My lover dumped me for any another woman, and i was divorce by my husband with my two son after 8years of marriage and also i really love him i contacted priest omigodo for a love spell to get my husband back, to my greatest surprise he cast a love binding spell to get him back for me and my lover came back after 48hours. i will advice you anyone looking for any kind of spell should contact priest omigodo via email address: omigodoshrine@hotmail.co.uk or call his cell phone for urgent response on +2348079367204

From United States
Name : Eva Villa
Address :13061 Lampson Ave #29 Garde Grove,ca, USA.

BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR PRIEST OMIGODO
Posted by anounymous on December 25, 2013 at 5:01 AM · Report this
291

I have been in bondage ever since my ex leave for another woman, It was really hell for me and everybody told me to forget about him but i could not because i love him so much, Things get worse until my friend introduced me to this great spell caster Dr. Kasee who have save so many life and relationships and i contacted him through his email (onimalovespell@yahoo.com) i explain everything to him and he cast a spell for me immediately after three days, everything turn around and my boyfriend come to me on his knee begging for forgiveness that i am the one and only woman in his life now. i was surprise i have never seen such a miracle in my life. I am so thankful to this man and i will forever publish his name Dr Kasee contact him today on ONIMALOVESPELL@YAHOO.COM
Posted by katherina on December 29, 2013 at 8:44 AM · Report this
295

Hi, I am speechless for the help I had from You ...Everything has changed for good....no... for Great...I would never realize that I got back my Best Friend back after all the bad things I did and said... Well, I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR ALL YOUR HELP AND PATIENCE... Any one who need help call Dr Obodo @ +234-8155425481 or E-mail @ templeofanswer@hotmail.co.uk Talk soon... WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST!!!

Posted by spellcasting on April 3, 2014 at 3:26 AM · Report this
297
SEXENA
i almost lost my husband as a result of my stubbornness before i became lucky of seeing Dr okun of okuntemple@gmail.com online and order a reunion spell due to the testimonies of his good works publications to stop my divorce my husband was so keen to separate because he was seeing another woman but i couldn't let the lust of another woman over my husband to break my home so i did all that Dr okun asked me to do without missing anything after four days of the whole exercise my husband called to tell me that he was no longer going on with the divorce that he was really sorry for all the pain he has cost me so that i felt to also write a review to thank Dr okun of okuntemple@gmail.com for saving my home and for those also going through the same divorce saga to also reach to him he will help save your home as he saved mine he is really a kind and understanding spell caster you can contact him with his email: okuntemple@gmail.com and his contact number is +2347060595685
Posted by love spell on May 7, 2014 at 11:00 AM · Report this
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IF YOU NEED A REAL SPELL CASTER PLEASE
CONTACT DR AGBOGU HE IS A GREAT MAN
He brought back my ex within 24 hrs when
others failed just using this post as a
testimony and to tell people that there are
still Real spell caster out there .
if you need his help in any way be it LOVE
SPELL ...HIV/AID,LOST WEIGHT,MAGIC
SPELL,MONEY SPELL,SPELL TO PROTECT
YOURSELVES FROM DANGERS,SAME/SEX LOVE
SPELL,HOW TO GET THE PERFECT VALENTINE’S
GIFT FOR YOUR BOYFRIEND
PROMOTION IN YOUR OFFICE,IF YOU NEED A
CHILD...SPELL REMOVAL........GOOD
LUCK......do contact him directly on
E-mail agbogunmagichome@gmail.com
Thank you all.
Name:Ashley Thomas
Location: France
Posted by ashley22 on July 22, 2014 at 7:00 AM · Report this
301
Being attracted to the same sex in countries like USA,UK Canada is really easily as i have heard.There are still people there who don't like people like us but it not as bad as that of Russia cos here we are beaten jailed and sometimes even killed.You can't hold the hand of the one you care about in the public so as to avoid been harassed we can even set a place to me cos if we are caught we face jail time.Here in Russia we gay are prisoner in our own country.I am currently in a relation with my fiance and we had to leave Russia to be together.Before now his parent were against our relationship cos they had no idea he was gay we sneaked around knowing the risks if we were to be caught.When he finally got heart to tell him family the rejected him and asked he stops seeing me or they were going to turn him in and that scared him a lot his father is a very powerful man in Russia and he made it possible for him not to be able to live the country i mean as long as you have money in Russia anything goes.I was lucky they never got to meet me cos if they did i would have not been here right now writing this article that you are all reading.Probably i would have been in jail.Months passed and there was no way we could see each other cos they had him watched to make sure he is never get to meet me and also to know the person the was he was practicing this profane act with as they called it.They stripped him of all his right to the family assets and made him an outcast i could see he was suffering form the text he was sending me they made his life miserable and made him end our relationship.I knew he was confused and did know what to do to get his life back to make his family see him the way they use to.And i knew that his family were never going to accept his life style cos they are so anti gay.If they were to be a fund riser to fight gay practice in Russia his family will be the first to ask that they host it.I love him so much but he was scared of him family and they also had a grip on him.I know most person don't believe in what about to say but still if it wasn't for Mutton Osun a spell caster that i found on the internet i would not have been writing this.It happened maybe by a slim chance or fate that i was a blog were it happened that i read three distinct comment about how he help them with similar problem.I contacted him with an email address that was in the comment.I asked Mutton Osun to cast a spell to make my then boyfriend to make up his mind to run away from Russia with me to be together and also his family as in his father to make it possible for him to leave Russia with me and set a very comfortable life for us were we were going.And i know doing spells with someone you can't even see is outrageous but i promise you he makes you feel more at else when he calls and he really goes through with his promise cos he did with mine he was really helpful to him and kind.And like other people said he doesn't even charge you for what he is doing for you.I had to provide some list of materials that he asked that i get for my spell casting.I preferred that i sent the money down to him cos they were not easy to find and even when i found them it was so expensive but he could get them cheaply.He instructed me on how to make the spell work with great effect.It took 7 seven day and night to see it result.On the seventh night my boyfriend call me to tell me we could finally be together cos his father did agreed to do all i asked mutton osun to make him do i just knew at once it was Mutton Osun spell cos it what i asked for and now me and fiance are the happiest right now we can hold hand now without fear of being harassed or sent to jail for we are in love and we are very comfortable here.His father made sure everything was set before we even got here just like i asked it should be.Am going to also leave Mutton Osun email here just like others have done for contact purpose godsofosunx@rocketmail. com
More...
Posted by lyevmahrk on July 28, 2014 at 5:07 PM · Report this
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When I was younger I tried finding love but every man that comes my way have never spent 2 months with me without leaving, and my family called me so many abusive names and say that I will never get married in time, even my younger sister and brother were already married with 2 kids each and were happily married.

But until last year back when I came across THE GREAT Dr. Akpan Ofua and I told him all about myself and I told him that I am 41 and single and that I want a man in my life. All is said was that I will have a man and will be the one that I will truly love that he will cast a spell for me that when men sees me that they will rush after me and he also said that I will have a child and now thanks to Dr. Akpan Ofua THE GREAT, I meet my husband last year just one week after the spell was cast on me and every spiritual curse on me were destroyed and broken, I got married to him and I am 7 month pregnant with my own kid for my husband all thanks to Dr. Akpan Ofua, you can contact Dr. Akpan Ofua too for help his email is okundospelltemple@gmail.com
He also help me of my depression, he is the greatest spell caster. Contact him now for immediate solution of your problems on okundospelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348105715511
Thank you
Posted by ivy01 on August 13, 2014 at 5:47 PM · Report this
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Good evening or morning for you perhaps!!
what a wonderful world we are living, i still doubt this spell caster how he did it!!!
My mouth is full of testimony, Am Sharon for UK, my husband left the home for a years and some few month to USA for a tourist,he meant a prostitute and he was bewitch by the girl my husband refuse to come back home again, i cry day and night looking for who to help me, i read a news paper about a powerful spell caster called Dr Akpan Ofua and i contacted the spell caster to help me get my lover back to me and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods we fight for me.. he told me by mid-night when all the spirit is at rest he will cast a spell to reunite my lover back to me. and he did in less than 3 days my husband came back to me and started crying that i should for forgive him, i,m so happy for what this spell caster did for
me and my husband..contact on his email okundospelltemple@gmail.com is the best spell caster in the whole wild world. he is specialized in solving of other problems including the following and more:

(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) if you always have bad dreams.
(3) You want to be promoted in your office.
(4) You want women/men to run after you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) Spell for magic
(7) Spell for fibroid remover
(8) Spell to get a good job
(9) If you need financial assistance.
(10) If you want the cure of HIV AIDS
Contact him now for immediate solution of your
problems on okundospelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348105715511
Thank you
Posted by ivy01 on August 13, 2014 at 5:49 PM · Report this
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My name is morgan keri.i want to give thanks to dr.trust for bringing back my ex husband.No one could have ever made me believe that the letter I’m about to write would actually one day be written. I was the world’s biggest skeptic. I never believed in magic spells or anything like this, but I was told by a reliable source (a very close co-worker) that Trust is a very dedicated, gifted, and talented person,It was one of the best things I have ever done. My love life was in shambles; I had been through two divorces and was on the brink of a third. I just couldn't face another divorce, and I wanted to try harder to make our relationship work, but my husband didn’t seem to care. and he brake up with me again.I was confuse and do not no what to do again,rather them to get in contact with dr.trust. He did a love spell that make my husband come back to me. we are now very much happy with ourself. dr.trust make him to realise how much we love and need each other.This man is for REAL and for good.he can also help you to fix your broken relationship. I had my husband back! It was like a miracle! He suddenly wanted to go to marriage counselling, and we’re doing very, very well,in our love life.contact email(ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com tel:+234186885231)
Posted by morgan kerri on August 19, 2014 at 9:09 PM · Report this
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I want to use this medium to tell the world about Doctor Jatto who helped me in getting my lover back with his powerful spell, my ex and I where having misunderstanding which led to our breakup though I went to beg her several times to please forgive and accept me back because I know I offended her but each time I went I always feel more deeply in pain and agony because she always walk out on me and would not want to listen to what I have to tell but on I faithful day as I was browsing I came arose a testimony of a woman whose problem was more than mine and yet Doctor Jatto helped her with his spell so I was happy and also contacted Doctor Jatto for help via email and then told him my story but the only thing he said was that I will wipe you tear with my spell so lucky for me everything want well just as he promised and right now I have got my fiance back and we are both living happily. there is nothing Doctor Jatto can not do with is spell and just as promise my self I will keep testifying on the internet of how Doctor Jatto helped me.Are your problem greater that mine or less I give you 100% guarantee that Doctor Jatto will put an end to it with his powerful spell, contact Doctor Jatto for help Via email drjattosplltemple@gmail.com.
1. GETTING YOUR EX BACK
2. WINNING LOTTERIES.
3. CHILD BEARING.
4. BREAKING OF GENERATION COURSE.
5. GETTING OF JOB.
6. JOB PROMOTION.
7. MONEY SPELL.
8. SPIRITUAL PROTECTION.
9. HERBAL CARE.
10. BEAUTY SPELL.
Posted by nie on September 25, 2014 at 2:45 PM · Report this
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My name is Richard Sophia, i think its a good thing to share this wonderful testimony because am so happy now, i have been married for four years, with two kids, and a lovely husband, i was having a sweet family, until when things started getting sour, my husband started coming home late at night, started ignoring my feelings and needs, i later found out that he was having an affair with with another woman, this was tearing my family apart as my children was been affected a lot, i didn't know what to do, my heart was so saddened, until i came in contact with one Dr. OGBIDI, a spell caster, on a marriage website, i told him about my problems in my family, he told me he is going to fix my family and bring back my husband if only i could provide what will be needed, i did as he asked and he fixed my family for me and my husband broke up with the lady and came back home and asked for forgiveness, am so so happy today, i cant hide this but share the good news,
YOU CAN CONTACT HIM TODAY THROUGH HIS EMAIL ADDRESS:DROGBIDISOLUTIONHOME@GMAIL.COM

.........he can help you with the

following........1. Get YOUR boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife

back.......2. Heal all kinds of sickness........3. Spell to make your

business boom and also save your goods from custom problems.........4.

Fix barrenness......5. Wealth/Riches...............6. Cancel a divorce

order 7. Fix addition to drugs and many more............contact him

today: DROGBIDISOLUTIONHOME@GMAIL.COM
Posted by richardsophia on September 26, 2014 at 6:32 PM · Report this
309
My name is Linda Wilson from Canada My boyfriend and I were happy as far as I could tell and I never thought that we would break up. When his cousin died in a tragic car accident he went back to London for a week to be with his family. I could not go because I was in the middle of entertaining out of town clients for work. He did not seem to be upset that I could not go so I let him be. The next thing that I know, he reconnected with an old friend from high school that he had a crush on years ago and they started to have an affair! I had no clue what was going on until a month after he came back from London.He proceeded to see both her and I until I caught him testing her one night. I confronted him and he told me the truth about what happened. We broke up and went our separate ways. Neither of us fought for our relationship. I was angry and decided not to be upset about it and just keep it moving. Then after about a month of not speaking to him I became sad. I wanted him to tell me that he wanted to be with me and not her. I contacted {Prophet AMEDE} for a love spell prayers and he totally helped me! he was able to get him to miss me to where he wanted to get back together again. He had a lot of regrets and felt bad for not fighting to keep me and for cheating in general. He values our relationship so much more now and we are together now! You can also get your lover back with the help of {Prophet AMEDE} contact him through his phone number +234-813-264-2680 or email: amedehealingtemple@yahoo.com

Posted by lindawilson8 on September 28, 2014 at 3:13 AM · Report this

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