Justice Minister of Canada Rob Nicholson declared today that all same-sex marriages, both resident and non-resident, were valid.


His announcement comes forth after a whirlwind of reports yesterday and today that same-sex marriages performed in Canada, between non-residents whose nations do not legally recognize gay marriage, were void.

The situation has been “completely unfair to those affected,” Nicholson stated during a Toronto luncheon on Friday. “I want to make it clear that in our government’s view, these marriages are valid.”

Acts have already been taken to ensure these marriages are protected. “The Civil Marriage Act will be changed to ensure that any marriages performed in Canada that aren’t recognized in the couple’s home jurisdiction will be recognized in Canada nonetheless,” said Nicholson.

“This will apply to all marriages performed in Canada,” Nicholson said. “We have been clear that we have no desire to reopen this issue—both myself and the Prime Minister consider this debate to be closed.”

The controversy was launched when a lesbian couple, wed in Toronto in 2005, was seeking divorce. The non-resident couple was told that they could not divorce because they were never really married, understandably sparking confusion for Canadian-married LGBT couples worldwide.

“The recent news about same-sex marriages, conducted in Canada between non-Canadian residents, is false,” Lisa Hardaway, communications director of Lambda Legal, exclusively tells Equally Wed. “All LGBT couples’ marriages performed in Canada are safe from being voided.”

The Civil Marriage Act will also be changed to ensure that divorce is readily available to non-residents who were married in the country.


Photo: thestar.com