DiNovo: Ontario government must stand up for same-sex couples

QUEEN’S PARK – Dalton McGuinty must not stand on the sidelines while the validity of marriages of hundreds of same-sex couples is called into question by lawyers acting for the federal government, says NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo.

“It is completely unacceptable for the Premier to pass the buck and to defer to the federal government on an issue that is vital for our province, and that profoundly affects the lives of same-sex couples who have come to Canada in good faith to have their love and commitment recognised,” said DiNovo.

DiNovo was responding to news that a lesbian couple who wed in Toronto in 2005 has been told by a Department of Justice lawyer that they cannot legally get divorced in Toronto because their marriage was not valid in the first place.

According to the Department of Justice, the couple could not have legally wed in Florida or the United Kingdom where they reside and hence they cannot get a divorce in Toronto even though they were married there.

“This is the same province that has promoted and continues to perform same-sex marriages without informing the parties that there is a chance that their marriage could not be valid at all,” said DiNovo

“Since the province is a willing participant in the marriage process it must take a strong, unambiguous position on this legal fight. Ontario has to participate in this process with integrity and take a more principal position in the debate,” continued DiNovo.

“For a long time the McGuinty government has said to same sex couples around the world, come give us your money through same-sex marriage tourism but we won’t be able to protect your rights to divorce afterwards,” said DiNovo.

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