New SCC decision on economic rights in the family

On January 25th, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that not extending spousal support and the division of property upon relationship breakdown to common-law couples, or de facto spouses, is constitutional. The case of Quebec (Attorney General)v. A, otherwise known as “Eric” v. “Lola”, involves a heterosexual couple in Quebec who lived together for…

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Same-Sex Marriage

My partner Carolyn Moffat and I (Carolyn Rowe) decided to participate in the Ontario test-case on marriage for same-sex spouses. This past spring, we drove down to Toronto’s City Hall where we applied for a marriage license. We were not granted or denied our marriage license, but were asked to wait for further clarification. The Clerk at the Marriage Registry Office is now seeking direction from the Superior Court of Justice by way of an application.…

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Marriage, Homophobia, and Substantive Equality

Marriage, Homophobia, and Substantive Equality Mariage, homophobie et égalité véritable The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference re Same-Sex Marriage came as no surprise to anybody – or at least to those familiar with the Court’s obligations in interpreting and applying Charter rights and freedoms, and the relative ease that it…

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Should Feminists Care About Equal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples?

Equal marriage for same sex couples developed as the wedge social issue in the June 2004 federal election. We witnessed Liberal politicians proudly waving the rainbow flag, a sharp contrast to a year earlier when most of them had trouble saying “lesbian and gay” without first interjecting an “um” or taking in a little breathe…

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Common Law Partnerships and Marital Property: Time for a Change?

Cet article est disponible uniquement en anglais. Introduction Every family law lawyer is aware of the pervasive, but mistaken, belief that long term common law heterosexual partnerships are now treated in law in the same way as marital partnerships. They can all tell stories of women who learn too late that they cannot rely on…

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Same-Sex Marriage

Not allowing lesbians to marry sends the message that lesbian relationships are not valuable or worthy of support. Lesbians want the ability to marry to obtain the benefits of marriage and also to change that historical message of exclusion. They also want to be recognized as mothers and co-parents. Briefs on Same-Sex Marriage and Families…

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Same-Sex Hearings

At the hearings held in Sudbury on April 9, 2003, NAWL appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to present our views on the question of whether the federal government should recognize same-sex marriages. We urged the committee members not to be swayed by political and social prejudice and stereotyping born of…

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Walsh v. Bona

Releasing its decision in Walsh v. Bona on December 19, 2002, the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it is not discriminatory for the Nova Scotia Matrimonial Property Act (MPA) to exclude common law couples from the definition of “spouse.” Individuals will continue to face the increased burden of proving equitable claims…

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Late Breaking News – Equal Marriage

Cet article est disponible uniquement en anglais. A disappointing judgement denying the right of same sex couples to marry was issued by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on October 2, 2001 (EGALE Canada Inc. et al vs Attorney General of Canada et al. 2001 BCSC 1365.) See the judgement at http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/01/2001BCBS1365.htm See EGALE’s press…

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