Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Canada Recognition of Gay Marriage in Immigration Laws

Gay News From
Canada To Recognize Gay Marriage In Immigration Applications
by The Canadian Press

Posted: May 19, 2004 8:02 pm. ET

(Ottawa) Canada's recognition of gay marriage is being extended to would-be immigrants.

The Immigration Department confirmed Wednesday that it has begun recognizing same-sex marriages in processing immigration applications. But the change only applies to couples in which one spouse is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. It also applies only to those who marry in Ontario, B.C. or Quebec - the provinces that allow such marriages.

"It's encouraging to see the federal government follow through on its commitment to equal marriage," said Alex Munter, co-chair of Canadians for Equal Marriage.

"Same-sex couples have been getting married in Canada for almost a year. Legal recognition of those marriages is tremendously important, both for the couples and for the rule of law."

Immigration lawyer El-Farouk Khaki also hailed the change.

"This will improve the lives of loving and committed same-sex couples who want to live in Canada," he said.

"In today's world, it is not at all uncommon for Canadians and non-Canadians to meet, fall in love, and want to marry. If they are denied the ability to marry or denied recognition of their marriage for immigration purposes, their lives will be made unnecessarily difficult."


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