Gay Tourist Marriages Create a Headache for Canada

Gay marriages to be nullified by the Canadian government? Not by a long shot.

By Khristopher Reardon, Staff Writer

A story came out earlier this week that caused a bit of undeserved hatred towards certain politicians. It was a news story about how the Canadian government was suiting up to dissolve thousands of gay marriages of people who toured here for the purpose of getting married.

For the sake of clarity, gay marriages are not going to be nullified, dissolved or any similar nonsense.

Foreign homosexual tourists getting married in Canada will still be considered to be legally married in our country.

If you are coming from a country which recognizes gay marriage, than your marriage still holds in Canada.  If your country doesn’t recognize gay marriage, than your wedlock will only hold within the Canadian borders.

However, this simple misunderstanding snowballed into massive confusion which created a lot of misdirected anger towards certain politicians by the end of the week.

[pullquote]The misrepresentation of the facts sent government into defense mode, making them clarify that they were not looking into reopening the issue.[/pullquote]This is not entirely surprising as a foreign government isn’t going to step back on its own laws and let Canada impose their own laws.

This entire story started when a lesbian couple who had gotten married in Canada decided to file for divorce. They could not divorce due to the fact that they were not considered legally married since gay marriage was not recognized in their country. To make things worse, a divorce in Canada is permissible only if one of the two is a formal resident of Canada for at least a year.

The fallout of this situation was that this marriage was legally applicable only within Canadian borders.

To correct the confusion, the parliament started rushing to make legal changes in order to recognize gay marriages and divorces within Canada regardless of the couple’s country of origin. Although, they must remember that the new changes will not have any effects on how the law views them in their home country.

When the story broke earlier this week, people started panicking, causing a flurry of discussion and anger because the story had been twisted. It was implied that Canada was invalidating same-sex marriages for non-Canadians.

Dan Savage, a prominent journalist, columnist and one of the founders of the It Gets Better project (help prevent suicide  among young LGBT people) publicly reacted in the wake of the breaking news since he married his husband, Terry Miller, in Vancouver, BC in 2005.

Savage said on CTV “If the Harper government is going to retroactively declare our marriage invalid then we are no longer recognized in Washington State … and that has real consequences for us”.

Speculation was flying around that this may be the Conservative government looking at reopening the same sex marriage issue. The misrepresentation of the facts sent government into defense mode, making them clarify that they were not looking into reopening the issue.

Columnists for multiple organizations must have been mighty busy this week trying to reorganize their thoughts on a page as strange tales kept echoing out of their neighbor news sources about where this story was going.

In the end, this mess of a story ends as egg on the faces of a lot of journalists out there and they quite frankly deserved it.

ARB Team
Arbitrage Magazine
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