The U.S. Supreme Court decision on Wednesday, which gave same-sex couples the same benefits as straight couples, is not only good news to American gay couples, but some north of the border as well.
Duncan McGillivray, a University of Alberta student, married his husband Jake in California. However, as Jake was not allowed to sponsor Duncan as an immigrant due to restrictions on same-sex marriages, the couple had to move to Canada.
Now that the Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex couples can have access to the same benefits as their straight counterparts — in the selected states that recognize their marriage.
Duncan, who grew up in St. Albert, and his American husband have been waiting for a ruling like this for two years.
"It was two years of trying to figure out visas, going to immigration lawyers … and really we just heard the same sort of story — there's no real easy way for you to get in at all," said Duncan.
The decision does not grant marriage rights across the U.S, but it does apply to the 13 states where same-sex marriage is legal.
"That definitely gives us the potential to move to the U.S. if we want to, and it also gives us lots of other benefits too. … Hospital-visitation rights, spousal survivorship rights, the ability to file our taxes jointly, [the] ability to be buried together in a federal national cemetery," said Jake.