My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Supreme Court sets a new standard....

Get set for lawyers going crazy over emotional trauma.
The emotional consequences of a spouse's misconduct can be weighed by the courts when judging spousal support payments, despite Canada's system of no-fault divorce, the nation's top court ruled Wednesday.

But the landmark decision from the Supreme Court of Canada stresses that misconduct alone is not a reason to financially support a wronged spouse.

"Misconduct, as such, is off the table as a relevant consideration,'' wrote Justice Ian Binnie. "Consequences (however) are not rendered irrelevant because of their genesis in the other spouse's misconduct.''

Despite the ruling, Gary Leskun's lawyer Lorne MacLean characterized the judgment as a legal victory.

"We won on the law we lost on the facts, which is basically what Mr. Justice Binnie said. He agreed with our submission that spousal misconduct should not play a part but felt that the judgment was sustainable on other grounds," he said, appearing on CTV Newsnet after the ruling.

The highly nuanced case centred on an appeal filed by Gary Leskun, who left his wife of 20 years to marry another woman in 1998.

He was appealing a lower court's judgment that he must continue to pay monthly spousal support to his ex-wife Sherry Leskun on the grounds she is so embittered from his extra-marital affair she can't work.

"Her life is this litigation,'' the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in 2004 in upholding the $2,250 monthly spousal support.

The court wrote that Sherry Leskun, who is now 59, is "bitter to the point of obsession with his misconduct and in consequence has been unable to make a new life.''
But, here's Grant Brown's interpretation:
The SCC sets a new standard by saying that the "emotional devastation" suffered by a woman as a result of her husband's affair was sufficient to keep her out of work, thus necessitating the payment of spousal support indefinitely.

This should be good news for men. When women have affairs, men are just as emotionally devastated; but in addition, they also tend to lose their children, their homes, and often their friends and neighbours. It must be a source of amazement to the SCC that any man can find the strength to keep working after a separation. Surely they cannot be expected to pay child support, much less spousal support, when this happens. I look forward to this new standard being applied even handedly, pursuant to s. 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


Blogger Road Hammer said...

Not bloody likely, Mr. Brown.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said...

Fred, do you think this would impact same-sex marriage at all?

11:23 PM  
Blogger jw said...

There is no possibility of this being applied fairly or equally. Men who have massive demonstrated need & years in the home as a stay-at-home-father do not get spousal support (other than $30 or $40 for a few months). The SCC is a bigoted organization.

This should have no effect on gay marriage as there is none of the "we'll help the woman and hurt the man" stuff invovled. It MAY hurt lesbian marriage, that is quite possible.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said...

I don't understand how it couldn't impact a gay marriage, with a child involved. All one partner has to do is cry "I'm depressed" and he'll get extra support, right? Or am I missing something?

8:47 AM  
Blogger GayandRight said...

This has nothing to do with gay marriage at all. This law impacts all marriages equally...

10:54 AM  
Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yes, that is what I'm saying. It includes all marriages. It's not a man vs. woman issue.

11:07 AM  
Blogger jw said...

I'm going to have to disagree here.

There's a problem with sex based discrimination going on within the system, any attempt to see the law without taking that into account will fail.

As I said, men with real need for spousal support, men with solid proof they need and deserve it, do not get spousal support. There's no doubt about that, not even a little bit of doubt.

That discrimination will apply to gay marriage in an uneven way. I'd expect lesbians to be ordered to pay spousal support: I'd expect gay men to be barred from getting it.

That is a reasonable projection given the current knowns.

4:22 AM  
Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said...

JW - Fair enough.

Well, should be interesting to watch how this all plays out anyway.

8:40 AM  

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