In 2003, Ontario became the third jurisdiction in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriage.
Once married, the law is blind as to sexual orientation. Accordingly, the same rights and obligations with respect to property division, spousal support, insurance benefits, death benefits, and so on apply equally to same-sex partners and opposite-sex partners upon separation.
Likewise, the law confers the same rights and obligations on common law same-sex partners as it does on common law opposite sex same-sex partners. Thus, same-sex common law partners are not entitled to an equalization of property upon the breakdown of the relationship.
The law still upholds a religious institution’s freedom to refuse to perform same-sex marriage if it conflicts with their beliefs. However, civil officials are not permitted to refuse same based on sexual orientation.
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