OTTAWA, Ontario, January 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In the wake of outrage over a government lawyer’s argument that same-sex “marriages” conducted for non-residents in Canada are invalid, Canada’s Justice Minister has declared that they are indeed legal and is pledging to fill the “legislative gap” that he says currently prevents those couples from obtaining a divorce in Canada.
“I want to make it clear that in our government’s view, these marriages are valid,” said Minister Rob Nicholson, at one time rated pro-family, on Friday.
Furor erupted among media and activists Thursday after the Globe and Mail reported that Justice Department lawyers had argued that non-residents who came to Canada for a same-sex “marriage” are only legally “married” if same-sex “marriage” is recognized in their own jurisdiction.
The statement came in a divorce case involving a couple hailing from Florida and the U.K. who were “married” in Toronto in 2005.
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Pundits, homosexualists, and opposition politicians immediately jumped on the report as further evidence of the Harper government’s “hidden agenda” to curtail homosexual “rights” and abortion access.
But Prime Minister Stephen Harper reiterated that his government has “no intention of opening or reopening this issue.”
Nicholson says he will consider legislative reform that would ensure same-sex “marriages” for non-residents are valid, and that they can obtain a divorce.
“This will apply to all marriages performed in Canada,” he 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.”
He blamed Paul Martin’s Liberal government, which legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2005, for the error. “The confusion and pain resulting from this gap is completely unfair to those who are affected,” said Nicholson.
There have reportedly been more than 15,000 same-sex “marriages” in Canada since they were legalized, and more than 5,000 involved non-resident couples.
Hon. Rob Nicholson, Justice Minister
Prime Minister Stephen Harper