Apr 18, 2014

Amend Section 27 of the Marriage Act - No more Doctor's Notes

On Thursday, April 17th the Progressive Conservatives Caucus voted to review the language in the preamble of the  Marriage Act. The Right to Love Group is very excited about this opportunity to also look at the updating the language of represented adults, and also use this opportunity to move up the date to review the marriage act itself, in particular Section 27 where people who are 'represented adults" require a doctor's note to get married. We cannot wait for the date in the legislature as to when the debate will begin. 

But in the meantime, we need your help raising awareness why the act needs to be changed. We are asking people to read out letter and share it with MLAs. You can learn about why we want the marriage act reviewed by watching our video.  


Represented Adults in Alberta currently need a doctor's note
and guardian consent to get married


Here is our letter: 


RE: Amendments to the Alberta Marriage Act RSO 2000,
Section 27 Mentally Handicapped

We are members of the Right to Love Group, a group of people with disabilities and allies from the Disability Action Hall and the Calgary Sexual Health Centre. Since 2010, we educate and create awareness of the right to love in Alberta. Members of the Right to Love Group understands Vital Statistics will be scheduling a review of the Alberta Marriage Act RSO 2000, in 2014. Please accept our letter to request the following changes and amendments to the Marriage Act:
1.     Substitute ‘Mentally Handicapped’ with ‘Represented Adult” Section 27, 1- Section 217 Section 1 (a) to now reference the ‘Adult Guardianship and Trustee Act’ part 1, definition Section 1 (hh) as ‘Represented Adult’ means an adult in respect of whom (i) an guardianship order is in effect.
2.     Strike Section 27 Section 1 (a) referencing an outdated act ‘The Mentally Incapacitated Persons Act’, RSA 1970 c232, as the act no longer exists.
3.     To remove the need for a doctor’s note
a.     Public/Guardian consent is already required as outlined in Section 27 (b) and (c). Guardians have day-today interactions with the ‘represented persons’ and a strong understanding of his/her adaptive functioning, reasoning and decision making abilities whereas a medical professional may only have a rapport of seeing a person once a year.
b.     A Doctor’s note is a financial barrier and makes the application process cumbersome.
We would be more than happy to participate in a public consultation with Vital Statistics. We would appreciate an update from Vital Statistics if these changes are possible. We can be reached at 403.717.7630 or actionhall@calgaryscope.org

Respectfully,
Members of the Right to Love Group

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