Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
You are speaking of common law marriage, which is very limited in comity around the world. Only eleven states in the US allow it.
Yes and no. The concept of "common law marriage" has been around in Canadian law forever, but it really meant "We're not married yet but it sounds better than our parents nagging us to stop 'living in sin.'" I don't think it went very far at law.

I think it really evolved post-Charter, with courts applying a whole bunch of new tests and interpreting things through the 80's primarily to ensure that women leaving relationships were not disadvantaged simply because the relationship was not formalised through marriage. Quebec could buck the trend somewhat due to the Code Civil legal tradition there.

Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
You could not list the US federal and state benefits of marriage in one thread.

Family and medical leave is a major one, especially for couples who have kids.

There is also social security, death and bereavement, veterans, tax exemptions when a married couple runs a business together, tax free transfer of property, etc.

The greatest of them all has to be comity, that a marriage is universally recognized, whereas domestic partnerships are often not portable.
Same in Canada, and I'd think, largely the same in the UK.

And even with expansive rights for co-habiting couples in Canada, same-sex couples would have had to meet the same test to gain those rights as were needed to gain the rights of marriage itself. Once the law understands that the two of us were not just roommates, but a cohabiting couple entitled to all the related protections, it has also understood that we are qualified to marry.