Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ottawa, the Un-Wyoming

Same-sex Massachusetts marrieds can head to Ottawa should they want to emigrate. The last vestige of official reactionism came off the books.

Two and one-half years ago when the province became the third in that country to enact SSM officially, it added a ban on foreign SS marriages. As the report in CanWest News put it:
The policy recognized same-sex marriages for immigration purposes only if the ceremony was performed in Canada, and if at least one of the partners was Canadian or a permanent resident.

It also clearly stated: "If you were married outside Canada, you cannot apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse."

The group LEGIT pushed to remove the ban.

British Columbia New Democratic Party MP Bill Siksay called this stricture a "huge inconsistency" and worked to change the policy. He has been a frequent activist on immigration issues. As he described this to a parliamentary committee, "To have a policy on the books that departed from full equality, that treated gay and lesbian couples that were legally married in other jurisdictions in a fundamentally different way than heterosexual couples, was wrong."

Perhaps the Equality State's legislature can consider that too.

As of January 24th, the ban is gone, according to a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley to the immigration committee. It included, "CIC has moved to annul the interim policy on same-sex marriage. As a result, same-sex marriages legally performed in Canada and in foreign jurisdictions are now recognized for all immigration purposes."

A bureaucrat who does not check her brains at the door is so refreshing.

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2 comments:

Laurel said...

And this from the anti-gay conservative gov't of Mr Harper! If that's conservative, I'd like some of that here in the US of A.

Btw, Ottawa ain't a province...

Mass Marrier said...

Right you are. I was snoozing. It's just the capital of the country and Ontario's second largest city.

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