In light of the recent Canadian ruling on same-sex marriages, Torcon has been getting requests for information on getting married while in Toronto. We provide this page to answer some of your questions. All information here was gathered by a non-professional, from government sources and documents provided by organizations that marry same-sex couples. It cannot be guaranteed by Torcon, and is provided as a courtesy to our members who have requested information. A discussion group has been formed at Yahoo!Groups for same-sex couples wishing to plan their weddings at Torcon. To join the group, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/torconweddings. Please visit it to find out the most recent information on getting married at Torcon.
Getting Married in Ontario
Ontario has two types of marriage: civil and religious:
A civil marriage can be performed by a judge or a justice of the peace under the authority of a marriage license. Check with the clerk that issues your Marriage Licence for information on arranging a civil marriage.
A religious marriage can be performed by a person who is recognized by a religious body to perform marriages and is registered in Ontario to perform marriages under the Marriage Act. The marriage can be solemnized under the authority of a marriage license.
Assuming that members of Torcon who will be getting married at Torcon are not from the area, we will not be addressing the issue of getting married under the publication of banns in this document. The court ruling does not require any church or religious institution to conduct same-sex marriages.
Torcon is currently working to find an official licensed to perform a religious marriage ceremony for any who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity, though we cannot at this late date guarantee that we will be able to do so. If you are interested in having your marriage performed at the convention, please contact us at MemberServices@torcon3.on.ca. If you want to arrange your own ceremony, Metropolitan Community Churches, Unitarian Churches, and some United Churches are already performing marriages for same-sex couples. A link to churches in Toronto is at the foot of this page.
Applying for a Marriage Licence
Be aware that if one member of the couple is divorced, documentation relating to that divorce will be required (please see Getting Remarried in Ontario after a Divorce).
We recommend you discuss any concerns that you have with a local lawyer specializing in matrimonial issues in your home city. Marriages performed while you're visiting Toronto will be legal in all Canadian provinces, and in other countries that recognize same-sex marriages (currently the Netherlands). We recommend you be prepared for legalities in your district.
Canada does not have a residency requirement for marriage. It does, however, have a one year residential requirement for divorce. If you live in a country that does not recognize same-sex marriages, you will need to keep this in mind. You may not be able to dissolve the marriage at home, and you can't dissolve it in Canada without one partner living here for at least a year.
Certificate of Marriage
After the marriage, the married couple may receive a "Record of Solemnization of Marriage" giving their names, the date of the marriage, the names of the witnesses and other information. This is a souvenir document and not a legal record. The person who performed the marriage must forward documentation to the Office of the Registrar General for registration. Allow approximately 12 weeks from the date of marriage before applying for your marriage certificate.
Links of Interest
Married in Ontario
MCC Toronto Same-Sex Marriages FAQ
City of Toronto Marriage Licence Information
Yellow Pages Link to Toronto Churches
Last updated: 28 July 2003
Send comments or suggestions to MemberServices@torcon3.on.ca