Legally speaking, marriage equality has been in Canada since 2000, when in all provinces and territories, except Quebec – when queer couples were deemed included as common law.
On the world stage, Canada was in a race with Spain to be first to have full marriage equality – the England part of the UK proper had allowed a lesser legal status of “civil union/domestic partnership” blurring.
Inside Canada, it was a three way race at the Provincial Supreme Courts of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
Deeper inside Canada, that the Charter of Rights (1985) was supposed to include it, without being ordered to by the courts.
in 2003/2004ish, marriage equality was the law across the land – because marriage is contract law pertaining to property and inheritance – while religion is a personal choice.
it is citizenship and all the rights, privileges and obligations that go with it that dignity is conferred upon a member of it’s society.
having the law say is one thing and having compliance is another
much like when the government passed laws about wages needing to be the same – the government had to lead the way – and in 1965, women and men were paid the same.
but it wasn’t until the late 1990s, when the pay amounts were actually equalized and this after a 10 year legal battle by the PSAC Union – which then had to turn around and pay their own female employees compensation. a raise and a union fee hike, all at the same time.
Employers having to give the same benefits to all employees equality also had to start in the government.
Anyway, I was going to talk about being half of a queer couple in a Canadian hospital.
This was 7 or 9 years ago – I went to Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancovuer – and most hosptials in canada are still operated by Catholic Boards of Directors, eh?
Anyway, I was going in for the Diabetics Daycare program and I had to check in at reception.
The Hospital Employee was a woman and an immigrant to Canada by the strength of her accent.
She went through the basic (aka tombstone) data and asked “Your husband’s name?”
I pointed across the lobby to a woman.
“My wife is over there.”
She got flustered, red faced and angry – she clutched at the cross around her neck.
“You can,” I continued, “Just ask for the spouse’s name.”
Coldly offering a face saving exit from Awkward.
“You people can’t expect things to be changed for you!” she snapped.
“Immigrants do.” I replied very low and flatly.
It was like lightening struck her and she regained some composure and her co-woker was running from the other side of the service desk.
She took over finishing my sign in.
Seriously, what the fuck is the problem that people have just do your job and keep your crap to yourself.
Do not demand what you are not prepared to extend.
anyway… Congrats america on marriage equality
I do not suggest people run out and marry up, unless you’ve already been living together, eh?
In Canada, the Divorce Act had to be amended separately, as it is different legislation.
So, for a while in Canada, everyone could get married and only queers couldn’t get divorced.
As it turned out, the Lesbian Couple on one of the supreme court cases, got married and then, filed for divorce a week later – only to make that discovery.
the stress of the trial process, tore them apart
so.. divorce.. and gay divorce
equal in canada, eh?