Batoch Church by Gerald Crawford

Readjustment of the legal framework

Niagara Falls, Ontario - Wednesday, June 17, 2003 - by: Joe Hueglin


What follows relates to a readjustment of the legal framework governing domestic relationships. It is sent to you to add to the mix of thoughts already in your mind. Seldom is anything new but at times actions that offer positive alternatives to issues come to mind.
  The purpose of this post is to offer for your consideration an alternative direction on one of the more contentious issues facing our society at this moment in time.
  1. Committed lifetime monogamous heterosexual relationships through wedlock, once the only socially accepted norm, have had added to them serial monogamy, relationships outside of wedlock and homosexual relationships. .

  2. There are types of committed relationships other than sexual.

  3. The extension, the equalization, of economic and other benefits now restricted to heterosexual unions to other types of committed relationships is not contingent upon application of the term marriage.

  4. The division of assets upon the dissolution of relationships have created a situation where a contract going in is a increasingly necessary reality.

  5. The congruence once existing between institutions of the state and the precepts of established religions no longer attain in a number of fields and need not exist for there to be legal relationships established between/among those committing to them.

  6. The state can establish legal frameworks in which those choosing to enter into commitments can do so. It can as well establish the means through which these relationships can be mutually or unilaterally dissolved.

  7. The term to be applied to such a relationship must of necessity be broad enough to encompass both sexual and non-sexual relationships. Both Registered Civil Union and Registered Domestic Partnership are but examples of suitable inclusive descriptive terms.

  8. The term marriage is not a suitable term in that it is a sexually based term inextricably linked in Canadian society to religion.

  9. Entering into wedlock, the joining of a bride and groom and the societal usages associated with them are essentially religious rather than legally based.


The argument presented here is that there be a clear cut division between the contractual arrangement being entered into through registration with the state of the mutual obligations being entered into...and...that which is essentially a religious act, that of entering into wedlock.


Marriage, a term which flows out of wedlock, ceasing to have legal implications becomes not denotative in meaning but connotative and as such open to differing usages among those employing it.




Such action on the part of the Government would provide equitable treatment to all entering into domestic partnerships under the law and leave the meaning of the word marriage, the basis of contention, to be determined by societal usage and not by statute.


Joe Hueglin




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