The definition of the Canadian family is expanding in 2020, and rightfully so. It is important that we open up our minds to possibilities and accept change so that we can progress as a race towards something better.
Canada has never shied away from progressive values. With its emphasis on free speech and individuality, the country is earning a reputation for being friendly and warm. However, immigration law is still lagging behind and needs to be updated soon. The Canadian immigration system would benefit from being more inclusive. Since Canada boasts of an open and liberated society, it is only fair that everyone within its borders benefits from it.
International candidates have access to a variety of immigration pathways via which they can start their immigration process. Conjugal sponsorship is one of the most commonly used pathways for the simple reason that people want to be close to the people they love.
Sexual relations has always been considered an important parameter for determining if two people qualify as a couple. However, that is not fully accurate, and it is gratifying to see this conventional framework making way for more possibilities.
The Federal Court of Canada delivered a landmark judgment in September 2020, allowing a gay man A.P. to submit his application to sponsor his straight female partner A.M. with whom he shares a child. The application was rejected by the immigration officer and the IAD before A.P. chose to appeal to the Federal Court. A.P. and A.M. asserted that they were in a loving partnership despite their sexual incompatibility.
They wanted to raise their child together as a family. Judge Fuhrer passed her verdict that the application should be accepted for review because the couple’s different sexual orientations did not necessarily invalidate their status as a conjugal unit.
This ruling shows that mixed-orientation couples are finally getting the respect they deserve, and one hopes that 2021 will be a new year of acceptance.