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Sylvie Levesque, director general of the Federation des associations de familles monoparentales et recomposees du Quebec speaks on the phone following a Supreme Court decision in Ottawa on Friday, January 25, 2013. By a slim majority, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Quebec does not have to give common-law spouses the same rights as married couples. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Sylvie Levesque, director general of the Federation des associations de familles monoparentales et recomposees du Quebec speaks on the phone following a Supreme Court decision in Ottawa on Friday, January 25, 2013. By a slim majority, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Quebec does not have to give common-law spouses the same rights as married couples. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Reader reaction to the Supreme Court's common-law ruling Add to ...

Should there be any difference between common-law and married couples?

No, and I am shocked beyond measure that the Supreme Court has approved this archaic and misogynistic law.

Gaile McGregor, Toronto

Yes, there should be a difference between common law and marriage; otherwise, what is the point of bothering with marriage at all? If common-law couples want the privileges of marriage, then get married. It’s as simple as that.

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Ailina Court, Calgary

Yes. That is the point of common law, being that you do not have the state dictate the terms to the relationship. For children, the state must dictate through legislation in order to protect their rights as they are not adults, so fine with statutory child support. But as an adult I want the total control over the type of relationship I choose to enter into. No state intervention please.

Louise Capp, Montreal

It is wrong to impose legal obligations in people when they have specifically decided not to enter into this kind of contract. Child support is taken care of, as a matter of course. Good decision.

Jessica Wise, Montreal

If there are children, and/or the common law relationship has continued over a number of years, for example, the three years that Revenue Canada uses – then perhaps there should be financial obligations and responsibilities comparable to those couples who are married. All parents should seriously look at civil union and co-habitation agreements, joint ownership of property, as part of their duties as parents.

Maggie Foran, Elliot Lake, Ont.

Yes. And in Quebec we have a third option, civil union, by which men and women can agree on what sort of support they will get if they part. If the Supreme Court had said that the Quebec law on marriage was unconstitutional, the next step would have been to say that the Civil Code was so. Quebec is not better, it is different.

André McClure Dolbeau, Que.

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