Today the Partner and I picked up our marriage licence at Toronto City Hall.
Even standing in a long line at city hall during the lunch hour rush with our application couldn’t take away from the excitement out of the event. And although same-sex marriage has been legal in Ontario since 2003 (and all of Canada since 2005), the significance of two men waiting in line at Toronto city hall to get their marriage licence was not lost on your humble blogger.
The Ontario marriage licence application is not separated into ‘groom’ and ‘bride’ or ‘man’ and ‘woman’. Instead it is now ‘Applicant’ and ‘Joint Applicant’. This removes the necessity of either the Gay Groom or his Partner having to be the ‘bride’. The night before we filled out all the required information: name, address, parents names, mother’s maiden name etc. on our marriage licence application. All we had to do was sign and date it (and pay the exorbitant fee) and we were off to the races.
While standing in line with our application, I was happy to see a number of other same-sex couple in the queue with us as well. Behind us a young gay couple were holding hands. In front of us, a straight couple was holding the same marriage licence application we had in our hands. There’ll be no difference between my marriage and theirs, I thought.
This is not civil union or registered partnership – it’s a marriage.
We were called to a counter with two seats. As we sat down I handed over our marriage licence application. The woman behind the counter, Licence Issuer Irena, checked our identification and typed our information into her computer. Beside her, our marriage licence printed out. It looked pretty goddam good.
“And how will you be paying the one-hundred and thirty dollar fee?” she asked.
Getting married isn’t cheap, I thought for the hundredth time this month. Your humble blogger forked over the cash and we were handed our marriage licence in a brown envelope.
“Just hand your officiate the envelope,” said Licence Issuer Irena. “They’ll know what to do with it.”
We stood and thanked Irena.
“And congratulations,” she said.
We walked out of city hall. Not many same-sex couples in the world have to opportunity to do what we’re doing here, I thought. And I felt very fortunate.
“One second,” I said. I opened the envelope that contained our licence. “Let me take a photo.”
39 days to go.
Jeffrey, the Gay Groom