Advocacy News - Siksay fights discriminatory marriage policy
December 13, 2006
fights discriminatory marriage policy
Bill Siksay, NDP (Burnaby-Douglas) spokesperson on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues and NDP critic for Citizenship and Immigration slammed Stephen Harper's Conservative government for a clearly discriminatory immigration policy that fails to recognize legal lesbian and gay marriages performed abroad.
The interim Citizenship and Immigration policy on spousal sponsorship for same sex partners states: If you were married outside Canada, you cannot apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse.
However, if you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, you may qualify to sponsor your partner as a common-law or a conjugal partner.
“This policy is completely unacceptable. It contradicts Canada’s legal recognition of gay and lesbian marriages,” said Siksay in an NDP news release through CNW yesterday. “Minister Solberg must immediately rescind this discriminatory policy and recognize all legal marriages regardless of where they were performed. Couples must not be forced back into courts to again win recognition of their relationships and legal marriages."
Siksay tabled a motion yesterday at the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration calling on the Conservative government to immediately rescind this discriminatory policy and recognize legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples in the same way legal marriages of heterosexual couples are recognized.
With Chair Norman Doyle presiding, Committee members Johanne Deschamps, Barry Devolin, Norman Doyle, Meili Faille, Raymonde Folco, Nina Grewal, Rahim Jaffer, Hon. Jim Karygiannis, Ed Komarnicki, Bill Siksay, Hon. Andrew Telegdi and Blair Wilson unanimously passed the motion.
“Thousands of gay and lesbian couples have been married in Canada and in countries such as the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium. The commitments made by these couples are equally valid and heartfelt, and must be recognized in Canadian immigration policy,” concluded Siksay.