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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Canada gets 'first' gay divorce
Antony Porcino (left) and Tom Graff get married in Vancouver
The majority of Canadians are in favour of same-sex marriage
One of the first gay couples married in Ontario has filed what is believed to be Canada's first same-sex divorce.

The women, identified only as MM and JH, wed on 18 June 2003, a week after the province legalised same-sex unions, the Toronto Star reports.

The couple, who had been together for five years, separated five days later.

Three provinces and the Yukon have ruled in favour of gay weddings, but the divorce laws have not been amended to apply to same-sex couples.

Media ban

The divorce act still refers to a spouse as "of a man or a woman who are married to each other".

"This is the first same-sex divorce case in Canada to our knowledge," MM's lawyer, Martha McCarthy said in court documents, according to the newspaper.

A media ban prevents publication of further details of the case.

The divorce petition, filed last month, is due to be heard in September.

Lawyers for the federal government had asked to the court to defer the case until the Canadian Supreme Court rules of the legality of gay marriages nationwide.

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