16 June 2005

Does Nicola Roxon believe divorce is the disunion of one man and one woman?

B.C.'s first gay divorce granted
Two women who got married in Parksville two years ago have been granted a divorce by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in Nanaimo.

Gay and lesbians in B.C. won the legal right to marry in 2003, sparking a wedding boom.

Among the gays and lesbians who decided to get married was a woman who can only be identified — by court order — by her initials, J.S.

But the marriage didn't work out. And J.S. filed for divorce last year.

But she says she was shocked to discover that while her same-sex marriage was legal, she wasn't allowed to divorce — because the Divorce Act only allowed a man and a woman to part. That's what led her to the Nanaimo courthouse on Wednesday to change the law.

Madame Justice Laura Gerow agreed the divorce law discriminated against gays and lesbians.

And with the stroke of a pen, she granted the divorce — and changed the law to define a married couple as any two persons.

'I just floated out of the courthouse,' says J.S. 'I'm ecstatic.'

Well, the Martin government survived its confidence votes so the Canadian marriage thing will roll on for a while longer. More British Columbians in same sex marriages will get divorced. At some point it will become part of the landscape and most of us will be asking ourselves what the fuss was about.

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