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Lecture 11

WGS250H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Civil Marriage Act, Caroline Norton, Marriage In The Catholic Church


Department
Women and Gender Studies
Course Code
WGS250H5
Professor
Karen Kus
Lecture
11

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WGS – March 24, 2014
- Same sex adoption 1995 case won by 4 lesbian couples who
claimed it was violation of same sex rights
- A teacher in Surrey, BC introduced same sex family books for
children, denied by the school board – battle lead to the Supreme
Court of Canada
oIntended to combat homophobia in schools
- Ethno-racial groups mobilizing to counter homophobia
oAsian Community Aids Services
oBlack Coalition for Aids Prevention
- Nancy Rosenburg, CUPE lawyer, fought for survivor pensions for
same sex couples
oLead to the rewriting of the Income Tax Act of Canada to
recognize same sex couples
History of Canadian Divorce Law
- Roman Catholic marriage only dissolvable to death
- Legal separation permitted, but not remarriage
- Before WWI, Canada had the lowest divorce rates (in western
world)
- 1925 Divorce Act
oWomen could obtain a divorce too (adultery)
oDivorce rate began to rise after 1945 (WWII)
- Double Standard
o1857 British Matrimonial Causes Act
oPracticed until 1968 in some provinces
oDivorce much more accessible for men than women
oWives would be entitled only if she was able to prove adultery
- Married Women’s Protection Act 1896
oWomen were allowed to apply to magistrate to release her
from living with her husband if the husband was found guilty
of cruelty, desertion or adultery or of failing to make
adequate provision or the wife and children
o1859-1899 average of only 9.9 applications for divorce
o1908-1918 the rate rose 21.6 applications yearly
- The cost of a divorce was $2500 in 1960
- 1968 Divorce act
oReasons to divorce were added, including: abuse, marriage
breakdown, and if couple was separation for at least 3 years
o1985 Divorce Act revision
Allowed parties to ?le jointly
Changed minimum separation time to one year
Same Sex Divorce
- 2004 Divorce Act wording was changed to include same-sex family
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