Same Sex Marriage: The Laws On Marriage In Canada And Bc

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The laws on marriage in Canada and BC have changed drastically over time and still continue to change today. Although we have progressed have we progressed enough? Yes we have, our laws are accepting of other cultures and sexualities but they haven’t always been that way. There are still some laws that do not satisfy everyone but there will never be a law that no one has opposed to. For example some religions do not believe same sex marriage should be legal but in Canada is was fully legalized by 2005. Canada was ahead of its time being only the fourth country to legalize gay marriage. America didn’t legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states until 2015.

Before 1983 rape was only considered an offence outside of marriage. This means it was completely legal to have sex with your spouse without their consent. Women were viewed as mens sexual property. Today we could not imagine rape being legal for any reason. It is a serious crime that is not taken lightly at all. Women now have all the same rights as men do and must consent to anything that may happen between them and their partner. Another huge difference in our marriage laws was the first province legalizing gay marriage.The first same sex marriage was held in Ontario on June tenth in 2003. The wedding was held mere hours after the law was changed. The Gender Neutral Civil Marriage Act was passed on July twentieth 2005 stating that same sex marriage was now legal across all of Canada.

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In Canada before 1872 women couldn’t earn their own money and control their wages. Before the legalization of married women’s property rights all earnings had to be handed over to the husbands. By 1887 a federal order-in-council legally recognized indigenous marriage. Couples now didn’t have to go the Christian route which was before the only option available. This was an important step in Canadian marriage history because it gave indigenous people a feeling of equality and they felt more included. They now could wed in their traditional ways and it was still considered a legal marriage.

For the first time the new marriage and divorce act of 1925, let women in Canada divorce on the same grounds as men. Prior to this act wives had to prove that their husbands were not only cheating but also taking part in bigamy, rape, sodomy or bestiality. By 1968 you could divorce your husband or wife on the grounds of adultery, mental or physical cruelty, desertion, a spouse in jail, or a separation of 3 years spent living apart. Earlier spouses in Canada has to divorce publicly publishing their intent to divorce in multiple newspapers over the span of six months. They then had to petition the government to let them separate. While this law was seen as an improvement from the last one, for feuding spouses three years of separation before divorce was a very long wait. Finally by 1986 the advent of no fault divorce meant that most spouses no longer needed to argue in front of a judge in court to get divorced. Now after living apart for one year they could divorce.

Marriage laws in Canada have progressed amazingly throughout the years. Laws used to be much more complicated and excluded religious groups and certain sexualities. At one point in time same sex marriages were not legal, traditional indigenous marriages were not considered legal marriages, women were treated like sexual property, and the list goes on. We have progressed enough for our time and faster than many other countries. There may still be improvements to be made but marriage laws in Canada are much more inclusive and morally correct which is why we have progressed enough for our time.


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