OTTAWA, June 19, 2013 – Yesterday, Senator Black spoke on An Act to Amend the Civil Marriage Act (Bill C-32), which was referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. The Committee reported the bill back to the Senate today and it will now move to third reading.
Bill C-32 will remedy the unfortunate situation created in January 2012, when thousands of same-sex couples around the world found that their Canadian marriages were not valid under Canadian law. This was due to rules in private international law regarding marriage.
This bill will not only validate marriages performed in the future, but also for those performed in the past. It will also give couples and individual spouses access to a process to undo their marriages. As Senator Black noted in his speech, “Canada is breaking new ground with this legislation to alleviate hardship.” This new process recognizes the different needs of non-resident couples, including both heterosexual couples and same-sex couples.
“Although this bill has no effect on same-sex marriage laws in other countries, it is symbolic of Canada’s commitment to marriage equality,” says Senator Black. “It sends a clear message to those who have come to Canada from other countries seeking to express their commitment to one another in marriage. It demonstrates that Canada believes all couples should be treated with dignity and respect for their choices.”
The full text of Senator Black’s speech in the Senate can be found online here.
The full text of Bill C-32 can be found online here.