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!
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