August 30, 2005

No, really: It doesn't count as adultery when you're gay

With Pride Week just wrapped up here in Ottawa, it's only fitting, I guess, that this sort of wackiness should cross my desk today:

Shelly Pickering thinks it is unfair that her husband's extramarital affair with a man doesn't legally count as adultery. So today, she's heading to court in Vancouver to challenge the law.

The 44-year-old Vancouver resident had been married nearly 17 years when, in October of 2004, she discovered her husband was having an affair with a younger man.

She and her husband separated immediately and she filed for divorce two months later, seeking an immediate end to their union. . . .

But Justice Nicole Garson of the B.C. Supreme Court declined to order the immediate divorce, because the definition of adultery in common law does not include homosexual relations.

[Full Story]

Put another way: If you catch your husband having sex with someone other than yourself, it's grounds for divorce. But if you catch your husband having sex with someone other than yourself, and it turns out he's a homosexual, it's not grounds for divorce.

Two men or two women can't be "married" according to common law either, but that particular fact doesn't seem to matter in the schizophrenic family law of today.