Same-Sex Relationships and Anglo-Canadian Choice of Law: An Argument for Universal Validity
Canada Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 34, p. 103, 1996
34 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2010
Date Written: June 29, 2010
The distinction between formal and essential validity in Anglo-Canadian choice of law regarding marriage is an illogical bifurcation that unnecessarily invalidates same-sex relationships contracted in foreign jurisdictions. The Supreme Court of Canada has recently reformulated certain rules of private international law, taking into account both the constitutional and sub-constitutional imperatives inherent in a federal setting and the need for order and fairness when co-ordinating diversity in the face of increasing globalization. Reform of the choice of law rules regarding the validity of foreign marriages should proceed accordingly with the result being that a marriage valid where celebrated is valid everywhere. No principled reason exists to deny recognition to same-sex relationships validly contracted in other jurisdictions, nor to differentiate between the rights and obligations arising from the legal status of same-sex and different-sex relationships.
Keywords: choice of law, private international law, same-sex marriage
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