Canadian Queers Get Back Benefits

The Canadian Supreme Court once again proved its liberal chops when it ruled that the government must grant gay couples survivor benefits. Though lawyers hoped the judges would request a pay off for back benefits from1985, the Court has ruled that the government can only be held accountable for cases dating back to 2000. The Court wrote:

Just as ignorance of the law is no excuse for an individual who breaks the law, ignorance of the Constitution is no excuse for governments. But where a judicial ruling changes the existing law or creates new law, it may, under certain conditions, be inappropriate to hold the government retroactively liable.

The government will now pay approximately $50-75 million in back payments to nearly 1,000 gay widows/widowers. Activists insist it’s not about the money, but about civil rights. While that’s certainly true, we’d love a little pay off. Too bad we’re not Canadian. And don’t have a dead lover. Or a live lover, for that matter. Tear, tear…