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Canada Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage

Thaddeus Baklinski : Feb 5, 2013  Life Site News

"Those who choose to marry choose the protections, but also the responsibilities, associated with that status. Those who choose not to marry avoid these state-imposed responsibilities and protections." -Chief Justice Beverley McLaughlin

(Ottawa, Canada)—A Supreme Court of Canada decision that upheld Quebec's laws which provide rights to married couples that do not apply to couples merely living together has been applauded by pro-family organizations as a recognition of the unique and distinctive role that true marriage plays in society.

Andrea MrozekIn what has become known as the Eric and Lola case, pseudonyms designed to protect the couple's three children, the court ruled that the Quebec law that excludes cohabiting couples from receiving spousal support in the event of relationship breakdown is constitutional and does not discriminate against couples who choose to live together without the benefit of marriage.

In a close 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Beverley McLaughlin wrote, "Those who choose to marry choose the protections, but also the responsibilities, associated with that status. Those who choose not to marry avoid these state-imposed responsibilities and protections."

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) says that the decision accurately reflects the social science research which shows marriage to be substantively different from living common law.

"There is great consensus from social scientists, no matter their political stripe, that marriage is different from living together," said IMFC Manager of Research Andrea Mrozek.

"Unfortunately, the statistical reality is that people living together break up more readily—even if they do eventually wed. They are more likely to have multiple partners. Their children face more problems—higher rates of school dropout, more drug use and an earlier age of sexual initiation. And single parents—mothers—are more likely to be poor. These are some of the harsh statistical realities of living together versus getting married, and it is wise to acknowledge this difference," said Mrozek.

The IMFC points out that providing the same benefits to those living common-law and those who are married contradicts the research, and sends the wrong signal about the importance of marriage for society.







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