Waiting in a New Line at City Hall: Registered Partnerships As an Option for Relationship Recognition in Canada
Canadian Journal of Family Law/Revue Canadienne de droit Familial, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 115-172, 2002
Posted: 8 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 5, 2011
With the establishment in Nova Scotia and Québec of the very first Canadian partnership registration schemes, debates about the value of this alternative recognition model are likely to multiply and gain in relevance in Canada. In this article the author examines whether registered partnership models should be established in Canada to permit adults in close personal relationships to formally undertake mutual obligations. The author argues that the most divisive political and social debates arise when registered partnership schemes are pitted against the issue of same-sex marriage. Policy discussions on registered partnerships will continue to be contentious and unproductive if the ban on same-sex marriage remains in place. If this obstacle is removed, one specific type of registered partnerships scheme, classified by the author as the "Blank State Plus" model, becomes an interesting alternative form of state relationship recognition, particularly for individuals who reject marriage or who are not in a conjugal relationship but who nevertheless wish to undertake mutual obligations.
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