by: Obert Madondo | Twitter: @Obiemad:
Canada has an estimated 15,000 legally-recognized gay marriages. If Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has its way, 5,000 of them would be invalid. All because the couples were originally from outside Canada when they got married.
A Department of Justice document filed in a Toronto divorce case stated that a lesbian couple cannot file for divorce. They wed in Toronto 2005 but were never legally married. That’s because then they’d not have been lawfully wed in Florida or England, their respective homes.
The anti-foreigner strain is unmistakable.
But especially troubling is this: Same-sex marriages are legal in Canada ONLY if they are also legal in the couple’s home country. By implication, what’s illegal in say, Zimbabwe, is illegal in Canada.
And now we’re told the Conservatives are moving to right things. They seek to “make legal changes to ensure that non-residents married in Canada can obtain divorces.” Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says the the same-sex marriage in question cannot legally be dissolved. And his department is seeking a solution.
Solution to what? The Conservative’s assault on Canadian values? So far the officials haven’t publicly said whether or not the marriages at risk are legal. That speaks volumes about the Conservatives’ stand on the issue.
The Tories are trying to dismantle Canada’s progressive fabric and erode equality rights. Not long ago, Ontario Conservative MP, Stephen Woodworth, signaled his intention to bring abortion rights onto the public agenda.
Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien saw this coming. Last December, he said:
“Unless we are bold. Unless we seize the moment. Everything we built will start being chipped away. The Conservatives have already ended gun control and Kyoto. Next may be a woman’s right to choose, or gay marriage. Then might come capital punishment. And one by one, the values we cherish as Canadians will be gone.”
Luckily, we have the arms to defend Canada. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The courts. And of course the Occupy movement has ushered in a new season of democratic energy.