Mr. Speaker, the member did get the point of my original story. Because of the marriage contract, so to speak, and the fact that a marriage has taken place, the state has said that all the waiting periods and all the proving of conjugality are set aside. They do not have to prove they are sleeping together. They do not have to prove it is a long term commitment. They do not have to go through a two or three year waiting period. They do not have to have children. The marriage ceremony brings with it a certain legitimacy which happens the moment the documents are signed. Not to belittle other relationships, marriage brings with it legitimacy and carries it from that moment forward.
The member put forward a hypothetical case. The idea of long term relationships and dependent relationships is an issue which probably deserves another debate in the House. I encourage the member and his party to bring it forward. Other members have brought forward the idea that we should base our benefits on dependency rather than on marriage.
I used the example because marriage brings with it something special which has been recognized for eons. The moment the ink is dry and the couple runs out of the church under a shower of confetti, that moment is special. It is special not only in the church, not only before the state, but it is special between the two people. For the marriage definition, those two people are a man and a woman.