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

Comments

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.
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.
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.
4
I think that was an anullment, Dan, not a divorce. Either way, I'm damn sorry this is happening.
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...
6
This is why we need to be ale to marry at home, beyond the reach of foreign political maneuvers.
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…
8
@6 Yes.
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.
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.
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?
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.
13
I am so sorry Dan. I am speechless.

and I am OUTRAGED.

I simply cannot imagine what you must be feeling.

dear God
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?
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.
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 . . . .
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.

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.
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?
20
Please know that there are angry Canadians out there who are not prepared to let Harper get away with this bullshit.
21
I'm with @10. You two are still married until you two declare otherwise. FFS.
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.
23
Well at least the gays aren't as oppressed as the poor Mormons. (See Charles' post above)
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.
25
The couples affected by this should demand refunds from the public officials who charged them for services that apparently weren't really performed.
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).
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.
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.
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?
30
If they had to pay any Govt. fees in Canada to get married, they should get their money back.
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.
32
it's so frustrating and it makes me angry to hear about people that can control our lives on mere whims.
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.
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.
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.
36
Sorry to read this, Dan. Keep your chin up.
37
Boo hiss. Our bad.
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.
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.
40
http://bit.ly/zM1w2K

Perhaps this does fall into the "misunderstanding" category. If, of course, you define "misunderstanding" as "massive public fuck up."
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.

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.
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.

44
When it hits home, Dan, it feels really, really different, doesn't it? Remember that.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
52
Well; The Troll warned Danny that if he was such a fucking hypocrite about polygamy God would take away his "marriage".......
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?
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.
56
Harper's toast. This is going to cost him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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?
66
Holy Cow! Someone just took them off, even though they were from what looked like a registered user.
There is a god!
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.
68
@66: Make that 15 (and still counting).
69
@68:
Thank you, Fifty-Two-Eighty.
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.
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.

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.
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.....
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.
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.
76
I see 75 is attempting to combat bigotry with bigotry.
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.
78
(Islam is not a monoculture) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Ellis…
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!
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.
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.
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'.
83
@79: A completely valid and plausible concern.
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?
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.
86
Aw, Dan, I'm so sorry. :(

How's Terry, other than pissed off?
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).
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.