New Democrats celebrate passage of Bill C-32

Same-Sex Non-Resident Couples Able to Get Divorced in Canada

OTTAWA – Randall Garrison (Esquimalt–Juan de Fuca), NDP Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Issues critic, welcomed the passage of Bill C-32 with the inclusion of an NDP amendment.

“I am happy that the Conservatives stopped dragging their feet and followed through on the promise that they made more than a year ago to validate non-resident same-sex marriages and to provide the opportunity for those married in Canada to get divorced here when their marriage is not recognized where they reside,” said Garrison.  “The passage of C-32 removes once and for all any doubt about the legality of non-resident same-sex marriages, a problem largely of the Conservatives own making.”

“It remains a mystery why the government took so long to bring this bill forward,” Garrison said.  “We in the NDP never threatened to delay or defeat the legislation, but we always said we thought it could be improved.”

Bill C-32 was amended and passed by unanimous consent as part of the negotiations leading to the close of the session.  The NDP was able to negotiate the inclusion of an amendment which makes same-sex divorce more accessible for those caught in the gap when they can`t get supporting documents from their home jurisdiction.

“We were happy to work with the government to build the best legislation possible for same-sex couples married in Canada.  This was never an issue of partisanship but rather an issue of equality,” Garrison concluded.