First Same Sex Divorce

While I feel failed marriages are always sad, equal treatment requires extension of divorce to same sex couples. So, with mixed feelings, I bring you this story, via Iafrica: Canada grants world’s first gay divorce.

When the article calls this the world’s first divorce, I’m assuming the author is making distinctions between legal dissolutions of domestic partnerships, civil unions and marriages. I’m under the impression some domestic partnerships or civil unions have been dissolved. ( calls this North America’s first same sex divorce.)

Evidently, despite various Canadian Courts’ previous rulings extending marriage to same sex couples, the legislature has not yet modified the divorce code. So:

Canadian law currently specifies that only a couple, defined as a man and a woman may seek divorce.

In her ruling, Judge Ruth Mesbur of the Ontario Supreme Court found:

“The definition of a spouse is unconstitutional, inoperative and of no force and effect,”

The Judge then granted the divorce to the couple.

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4 Responses to First Same Sex Divorce

  1. 1
    David Weisman says:

    Wouldn’t that be funny, a judge could say marriage was sacred, the law required him to let heterosexual couples get divorced, but not them.

  2. 2
    Kristjan Wager says:

    In Denmark there is no legal differenting between a divorce between two marriaged people and two people in a civil union, so there have been plenty of divorces here.
    And even if you disregard those because they disolve a civil union and not a marriage, I’m sure that there has been divorces in Holland as well, where ssm have been legal for a while.

    I don’t know about you people, but if my lawyer seemed more focused on presenting my case as the first of its kind, rather than getting facts straight, I’d be a little worried about how well he was representing me.

  3. 3
    ae says:

    I would be satisfied if I could find a lawyer qualified to present my case at all. I am sick of hearing that the dissolution of the partnership has to be treated as though it was a business. Those rules cannot logically apply. It was a family, complete with children, and there will be many more like us to follow. Courts, and lawyers, better get a clue… soon…

  4. 4
    jstevenson says:

    One interesting issue that came up regarding estate planning and community property.

    Federal law treats community property just as it says. Unlike joint tenancy, which has special protections that pertain to husband and wife. Community property has it’s own separate provision that provides protection based on the term community property and does not depend on marriage (this is of course because only married people could hold title in community property).

    Effective 2005, in California, registered domestic partners may be eligible for some federal benefits despite, DOMA paragraph 2, in the case of death of a party.

    I am certain I would get the facts straight, but I also may be intently focused on bringing that case to trial in order to get a judicial interpretation of the law.