Canadian Government Nullifies Foreign Same-Sex Marriages
UPDATE: After receiving a significant amount of criticism from gay rights groups and supporters from around the world, the Harper government has promised to take the necessary legal actions that will allow foreign couples that married in Canada to receive a divorce.
Foreign Gay couples that tied the knot in Canada are not legally married unless their homeland has recognized same-sex marriage, Toronto’s Globe and Mail reported in a Jan 12 article.
"The Harper government has served notice that thousands of same-sex couples who flocked to Canada from abroad since 2004 to get married are not legally wed," the newspaper writes.
The federal policy change was recently discovered in a Toronto test case involving a lesbian couple. The couple married in the city in 2005 but were told that they cannot divorce because they were "never really married." A Department of Justice lawyer says that the marriage was not legal in Canada because same-sex marriage is not recognized in Florida and England -- where they currently live.
"In terms of the specifics of the story this morning, I will admit to you that I am not aware of the details," Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minster, said. "This I gather is a case before the courts where Canadian lawyers have taken a particular position based on the law and I will be asking officials to provide me more details."
Harper also said that his government has no intention of reopening the issue of same-sex marriage.
The two women’s names cannot be released due to a court order but their lawyer, Martha McCartney, spoke on their behalf.