Same-sex marriage--wait or go to Canada?

That’s pretty much my question: Hop up to Canada and tie the knot, or wait for the US to catch up? What think you?

I think you’ll be quite a bit older if you wait. It was a great victory but let’s not delude ourselves into thinking the rest is going to fall into place quickly here.

I suspect the likely scenario will play itself out that someone will have to have a same-sex marriage in Canada, move to the U.S. and demand the marriage be recognized under existing agreements. This of course will be subject to legal challenge, most likely all the way back to the SCotUS.

Needless to say, it’ll probably be years - IMHO


Unless you actually plan to move to Canada permanently, you’ll be waiting anyway. Kind of a big step to leave your country. You’re welcome to come up, though, as far as I’m concerned. We could use more people.

Actually, so far as I know, there is no residency requirement to get a marriage license anywhere in Canada. Certainly there isn’t in Ontario - that fact has been widely reported of late. Now, unless you want to wed in Ontario, or, as of yesterday, BC, then you will have to wait until the upcoming bill makes it through Parliament, and if you want to wed in Alberta, you might have to mount a (virutally certain to be successful) legal challenge to convince their pie-eyed premier that he doesn’t have jurisdiction on this, but those are the only barriers that I can see.

Canada abolished its sodomy laws in 1969 and is permitting gay marriage now, in 2003.

US sodomy laws were struck down just a couple of weeks ago.

You may be waiting a little while.

One of the issues is that while Canada isn’t requiring residency to marry, there’s a one-year residency to divorce. though I don’t plan to divorce, when I look ahead, I don’t like the idea of both of us presumably calling it quits and then having to live in Canada for a year in order to end the relationship legally. (Not that Canada’s not lovely, but there’s no license reciprocity for our line of work!)

I do believe there are laws regarding common-law separation as a means of terminating the marriage, short of divorce (sort of the reverse of common-law marriage, if you will).

I should note that a coalition of Queer-rights groups in the States issued a plea that even if Americans go to Canada to get married, that they contact those groups and work in coalition with them to effect any legal action rather than going off on their own. An ill-timed court case could set a precedent that might severely damage the movement.

There were only 14 states with sodomy laws left when Lawrence nullified them. Illinois was the first state to repeal its sodomy law, in 1961.

My predicition is that either Illinois or Wisconsin (the first state to have a gay rights statute) will become the first state to allow same-sex marriages.

If an American gay couple gets married in Canada on a holiday, I assume that Ontario/BC/wherever marriage certificate will mean nothing in their home state if gay marriage isn’t recognized? Or will it?

Only a handful of states even have civil unions or similar arrangements right now. Unless you’re quite young and don’t mind waiting most of your life, my advice is “Go North, young man.” Or woman. Women, actually. :wink:

Pardon my ignorance, but if your home country/state/municipality doesn’t recognize it, why would it be worth the bother? I just don’t get the point of it all. Uh huh, so you’ve got a piece of paper that says you went through some kind of ceremony. Hell, why not get some dude to write up just such a piece of paper for you?

Mork, even if it’s not recognized by everyone legally, I would think going through an actual marriage would have just a tiny bit of emotional value.

Legally, there’s no difference. The gay marriages taking place this week in BC are exactly the same as the heterosexual marriage I had in February. And the US does recognize marriages performed in Canada.

In fact, one of the reasons I changed my relationship status from eleven years of common-law to an actual marriage was because my wife was moving to the US in September, and they wouldn’t let me in with her unless I was her ‘official’ spouse.

Mork, like Marley23 said. Why would a heterosexual couple have a wedding ceremony when a justice of the peace can say, “Got your paperwoork? Okay, poof, you’re married”?

My partner and I have all of the legal documentation of our relationship that’s possible in the US. Our hope is to have our relationship acknowledged by our state and government as comparable to a marriage between a man and woman. Every bit of documentation helps, even if the state doesn’t formally recognize it. For example, a married heterosexual partner does not have to wonder whether s/he will be mentioned in the spouse’s obituary. In my community, the only obituary I’ve seen naming the same-sex partner was one in which the obituary stated that the couple had had a civil union in Vermont. This was apparently enough to make the paper print the partner’s name, though its policy was not to do so.

I don’t understand same sex marriages. It’s not like they are legal (now) so why go through the motions? I have a friend who is a lesbian and just had a ceremony. I don’t think its going to work out a year from now - - so all they have to do is seperate.
I just don’t get it.

Not to hijack the thread but what was the purpose of Rosie O’donnells’ girlfriend (Kelly) changing her last name to Rosie’s?

Isabelle, it’s the emotional value of it. It’s being able to stand up in front of friends and family and formally acknowledge that a commitment is being made. It’s a way to quietly say that yes, some gay and lesbian people want to be able to marry.

I would suppose that the situation with Rosie O’Donnell and her partner was to symbolize their union as a family, in a similar fashion.

Here’s my question – and I really don’t get this – but how is legalizing marriage between two women or two men a bad thing?

Please, someone explain this to me.

How is supporting stability in relationships a bad thing in any way?

The U.S. government recognizes marriages only if they are heterosexual. Chapter 1, Title 1, U.S. Code:

That wasn’t my point. A gay marriage in Canada will have no legal standing in the United States, so unless the OP moves to Canada permanently, getting married here will not legally help her/him at all if they continue to live in the United States. And the legal part is the only way Canada’s different. So unless you’re gonna live here, it’s pointless to bother getting married here.

Of course, a wedding would still carry all the emotional and social importance, irrespective of the legalities, but for those purposes why not just hold the marriage at home in the good ol’ USA?