Canadian Same Sex Marriages

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Canadian Same Sex Marriages

Postby Nyufrost » Tue Jun 24, 2003 12:05 pm

Last week, Canada announced it would officially allow same sex marriages. There are only two other countries --Belgium and the Netherlands (Holland)-- where gay marriages are legal.

Speculation is that many American homosexual couples will go up to Canada to get married. The question is ... should the Canadian marriages be recognized in the United States as being legal?

Proponents say this should be a clear example to all Americans that homosexual relationships are no different than traditional heterosexual family lifestyles.

Oppenents say that no American state allows same-sex marriages. Recognizing Canadian same-sex marriages will create a host of legal battles in the U.S. Issues ranging from insurance benefits to adoption rights will clog our courts. Canadian policy has no merit in the U.S.

Personally, I agree with the opposition view. Why should Canadian laws be upheld by the US when American laws are not upheld by Canada? They are, after all, two different countries with two seperate governments and with different sets of laws.

If we recognize one Canadian law then would we not be obligated to recognize them all? One special exception leads to another.
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Postby TerraFrost » Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:05 pm

The real "caveat", imho, would be if we recognize heterosexual canadian marriages - if we recognize those, and doing so hasn't created any legal problems, why would homosexual marriages? likewise, if we don't recognize heterosexual canadian marriages, why would we go out of our way to recognize homosexual ones?

anyways, i think a more fundamental question is whether or not homosexual couples should be allowed to marry. i guess that really all depends on what a marriage is to you. is marriage simply a religious ritual, or is it simply a government endorsed state of "togetherness"? if the homosexual couple considering their options thinks marriage if a religious act, more then any other, they probably shouldn't marry - i mean, religion doesn't exactly tend to be accepting of homosexuality. of course, i guess another important question to consider is... can homosexuals be religious? or perhapes, more to the point, the same religion as those religions that persicute them? i think at that point, it gets kinda icky... the whole marriage issue...

now if you're marrying because you want the government to recognize you two as a couple... well... on one side, it's not the governments role to dictate morality (ie. homosexual vs. heterosexual marriages), but on the other... governments can reasonably expect to get something out of a heterosexual marriage that they wouldn't get out of a homosexual marriage - kids.

so... i'm neutral on the whole marriage thing. as for whether or not we should recognize canadian marriages... i think that depends on what i said in my first paragraph.
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Postby Nyufrost » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:50 am

TerraFrost wrote:The real "caveat", imho, would be if we recognize heterosexual canadian marriages - if we recognize those, and doing so hasn't created any legal problems, why would homosexual marriages?
I believe the point would be that heterosexual marriages are legal in both countries so of course they wouldn't create any legal problems.

A better analogy might be to compare it with other laws. Marijuana is legal in Canada but not the US so should it be ok for Canadians to smoke pot when they visit the US?

The English drive on the left side of the road while Americans drive on the right side so should it be legal for Americans to drive on the right side of the road when they visit England?

As for whether they should "marry" ... the main purpose of marriage is to make the children legitimate heirs. If you aren't planning to have children with someone then why marry them? In that regard, homosexual marriage makes no sense to me. Does it *prove* anything?
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Postby shahmask » Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:28 am

obviously you have never been married nyu. in terms of the law, atleast in the US(im not sure of canada), if you are the genetic parent of a child, wheather married to the other parent or not, the child is the legit heir. not only that, both parents are legally responsible for for the financial wellbeing of the child(child support).

and you are exactly right though i think about couples wanting to have children. that is a major reason why gay couples want to get married, so that they can both have legal custody of their children, whether by adoption or an outside mother/fater. that is afterall a reason divorced/widowed ppl with children get remarried, so there is another legal parent.

and another major reason ppl get married is the financial benefits of marriage. when married, the spouse gets the eligibility of the other spouses insurance. you also become a legal heir of the property of the other spouse.

i do think that the marriages should be recognized though. afterall, there is atleast one state in the US that i know of that has gay marriages, vermont. and since, it looks like all states are going to have to recognize those marriages because of the US constitution's full faith and credit clause(i think that's the one, i know there is a clause about it in the constitution), why not recognize canadian gay marriages? as terrafrost already said, we recognize their heterosexual marriages the same way state to state in the US heterosexual marriages are recognized.
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Postby Nyufrost » Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:51 am

You make some good points, Shahmask.

You're right, I've never been married but I understand that both gay and straight people want to marry for financial and legal reasons.

I also think that, eventually, once same sex marriages are legally accepted by the US government then of course the Canadian marriages should be recognized here. Unfortunately, they currently are not so that is the basis for my opinion that they should not be legally recognized here.

Also, I read that same sex "civil unions" are recognized in several US states. However, I am not sure what the difference is between "marriage" and "civil union" is .... I am guessing it has to do with religion?

Does anyone know for sure?
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Postby shahmask » Mon Jul 07, 2003 6:07 am

i believe it's just word choice by the government, but im not 100 percent sure. also, marriage is a state institution. the fed gov't is just trying to meddle into state affairs by them recognizing/not recognizing different types of marriages. the fed gov't imo does not belong deciding this stuff(unless it becomes a supreme court case) and just leave the full faith and credit clause(or whichever it is) to apply as it always has for other state by state issues.
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Postby Nyufrost » Mon Jul 07, 2003 6:23 am

Hmmm ... that's true about the federal government not really imposing jurisdiction except in Supreme Court cases but I never really thought about it until now.

More and more states are adopting same sex civil union laws. If I am not mistaken, California has a measure before the legislature that would indoctrinate same sex unions into the law.

So, in reconsidering, it would make sense for the Canadian same sex marriages to be viewed as legal if they move into a state where they are legal and not recognized if they move into a state where it is not recognized.
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