Same-sex marriage may be legal in Canada, but Ottawa is warning gay and lesbian couples to be aware of cultural – and legal – differences abroad.
"We cannot take for granted that rights that are recognized in Canada will be recognized or accepted abroad," Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said in a statement Sunday.
"We must also acknowledge that many countries still do not permit such marriages," he said.
"Whether visiting or moving to another country, Canadians should always take the time to learn about the laws of the country for which they are destined before leaving home."
Our social engineers have blithely ignored centuries of customary international law in their haste to legalize homosexual marriage, and in so doing, have set these couples up for real trouble overseas.
A couple that moves to a jurisdiction that doesn't recognize homosexual marriage will not have any of the protections afforded to legally married couples. Pensions, benefits, inheritance, divorce, custody--all of these privileges will be gone.
What might be a marriage in Canada, could be a civil union in another country, and a capital crime in a third.
We're all bound by the laws of the jurisdiction we're travelling through, and if the local police in Iran decide to make an example of a Canadian homosexual couple, the Canadian government will not bail them out if they've broken Iranian law.
In less extreme but more likely cases, if one of the partners moves to a jurisdiction where same-sex marriage is not recognized following a divorce, support or custody claims might not be enforceable through the various conventions governing reciprocal enforcement of foreign judgments.
All countries have recognized each other's marriages since time immemorial, since we all shared a common definition of marriage. With that gone, we enter into the realm of legal confusion and farce.