But First a Little History

On June 10, 2003, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to recognize same-sex marriage.  The Court of Appeal for Ontario decided that Canadian law on marriage violated the equality provisions in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in being restricted to heterosexual couples. In addition, the court did not allow Ontario any grace time to bring its laws in line with the ruling.  I remember being surprised by the court’s decision and the government’s decision the next day that they would comply with the decision.

It had, I thought, all happened so fast.  I thought it was going to be long battle, but there it was.  I could marry!

Same-sex Marriage Becomes Legal in Canada

Same-sex Marriage Legalized in Canada

Two years later on July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act.  By this time eight out of ten provinces and one out of three territories had, like Ontario, already legalized same-sex marriage (and despite the dire warning of a small but vocal socially conservative homophobic minority about the dangers of granting gay and lesbians the right to marry, Canadian society did not, in fact, collapse overnight).

Three years later, in September 2008, the Partner and I were vacationing in Paris.  We had just spent a week in Amsterdam and another in Barcelona (for the record, The Netherlands and Spain, were, respectively, the first and third countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage) and were having our last dinner in a small Marais restaurant before flying back to Toronto.  I had been planning ‘the question’ for months.

It was over dessert that your humble blogger asked The Partner if he would marry me.

He said yes.

Now, in July 2009, with less than three months to our wedding, and I’m not thinking much about the history or political side of same-sex marriage…

I’m just trying to find a florist.

73 days and counting.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom



Filed under gay, gay men, same-sex marriage, wedding

4 responses to “But First a Little History

  1. First of all, congratulations and best wishes to the two of you. You’re so lucky to live in a country that appears to value all of its citizens equally. Some day the United States may actually live up to its ideals in that regard, though it’s difficult sometimes to stay hopeful.

    Jeff and I actually planned out our proposal together, rather than one of us taking the initiative and proposing to the other. We’d been discussing registering as domestic partners in California since moving out here in 2006, suggesting and throwing out various symbolic dates, but eventually settling on Friday, February 13.

    The next morning we left for a romantic weekend get-away in San Simeon, Monterey and Carmel, California, where we proposed simultaneously over a Valentine’s Day dinner Saturday evening in Carmel.

    While we can’t be legally married in either our state or our country, we’re calling our September 26 ceremony our wedding, regardless. As far as we and our family and friends are concerned, it will be a wedding, the law be damned.

    We were originally aiming for the first or second weekend of October as well (as Jeff notes, it’s often the period of the best weather in San Francisco), but ended up going with September 26, just a week before you guys; and at the same location where I served as officiant for the wedding of two straight friends in October, 2007, on a terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

  2. If I may ask (and I mean this respectfully), if you proposed back in September, why did you wait until July to start planning the wedding? It just puts you on such a short timetable which makes things stressful…at least to me.


    • gaygroom

      Hi, Leslie
      To be honest we aren’t just starting to plan now… we’ve done some of the larger things on our list… we’ve chosen a caterer (if not a menu), a place, booked the honeymoon, and we just chose a florist today. Now it’s all starting to come together 🙂 Thanks for the comment! J.

  3. Dawn

    Loved the history lesson. Makes me feel bad for the US and my place in it.

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