Selection Of Your Comments
July 1, 2003
I was absolutely astounded at the recent supreme court decision. It will ease the way for same-sex marriage. The religious right-wingers are making a lot of noise but I think the majority of the Republican party are tired of them. I ran into your site while looking up other on-line Bourassa's (or is that Bourassas?). Both sets of my grandparents came from Quebec. We may be distant cousins.
All your efforts paid off. I can only hope that the States will follow Canada's lead.
Yes, we may indeed be related. The Catholic Bourassa family produced many off-spring, and we know the family began in Quebec (our branch of the clan originates in Saskatchewan).
July 3, 2003
My partner and I are coming to Detroit to visit his family. It is our intent to get married in Windsor while we are there. We believe that we have everything in order for the license. However, we would like to know what, if any, our options are for the ceremony. I am Anglican, and my partner is Methodist. The religious ceremony is more important to me, so I would prefer to have a renegade Anglican priest(ess) who is willing to go against the Bishop of Huron's ban on same sex marriage rites. Since this is probably not an option, I'd like to get contact information for people who would perform a same sex blessing. Thanks in advance.
Regards from Austin, Texas- Live Music Capital of the World, Fred Johnson et David Mitchell
July 3, 2003
My partner and I want to come to Ontario to get married (from the US). We are looking for resources (non-church) in Windsor or vicinity. Any help you can offer?
July 5, 2003
I am writing on behalf of the Couples Group in Ottawa, a small non-profit community group for gay and lesbian couples. We are trying to organize a couples participation at this year's Ottawa Pride (July 13) and would like to get as much participation as possible, especially in light of the recent marriage ruling. We are, therefore, wondering whether you may be able to help spread the word and to suggest possible contacts in Ottawa. We have already contacted the main groups such as Egale, PTS, Prime Timers, Sage, Women's Outdoors Group and Lambda.
Interested parties could contact us, so that we can get an idea of the numbers. Thank you very much.
July 6, 2003
Dear Kevin and Joe;
Please forgive me for using the familiarity of your first names,but I feel calling you Mr. Bourassa and Mr. Varnell is too formal at this moment.
I wish to heartilly thank you for your open and touching book "Just Married". I have just finished reading it and am filled with a sense of joy in my heart now that your struggle has had a complete and legal resolution. My partner and I met 4 years ago at Vancouver's Pride Day on Aug. 1, 1999. We knew very early on that we wished to commit to each other in the sense of marriage. We also knew that our province would not allow us the legal right to do so. We struggled with the governments right to deny us our fundemental right to particitpate fully in our society, but we persiveered anyway. We decided to have a wedding without the legal santification of the government and started planning!
Almost a year to the day we met, August 5, 2000 we met in Queen Elizabeth Park here in Vancouver with 70 of our friends and some family members also. We did what over 300 couples a year do in the very same park..we got married! We had an aquantance who is a non-ordained minister in her faith practice be our minister, we had attendants at our side and we formed a community bond that the state could not replicate with any marriage licence. We all formed a cirlce of love and together my partner for life and I said vows that could not have been more heartfelt and sincere. As I read your book I found my emotions bringing back the sense that only true love can bring...inner peace and contentment that is boundless and awe inspiring!
Both of you embarked on a very public struggle that gave us both here a sense that social justice might be around the corner! We watched your story with joy, and at the time, some great concern for your safety,and yet hope that the hate of others would not poison your day and your end goal of happiness with each other.
I am grateful to both of you for your courage, your tenacity and your sense of self that helped you pave a way for other Canadians to achieve the full participation in our wonderful country.You both also helped to nudge people out of their complacency. It is a noble goal to want to change society for the better, but it is even more noble to have made others think outside of their prefered comfort zone and to have them act on their hearts in knudging others out of their complacancy.
Every seed of change may eventually touch soil in which to grow...often we must cast the seeds far and wide and numerous times for this to take place. Again I thank you for your role in changing the way other Canadians view our relationships and commitments to each other, you truly have become pioneers that will be remembered for decades to come and certainly by this Canadian.
With fond regard and a greatful heart!
Molly-beth Metcalfe-Wilson, Vancouver
We have learned that progess is made when each of us personally takes ownership for making things better in our own sphere of influence. Certainly you and your spouse did just that when you married your partner three years ago, in the presence of your family and friends. By your example, others learn and become more understanding and accepting. Wishing you many happy years together!
July 10, 2003
It is with great enthusiasm that the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (O.A.M.F.T.) celebrates the recognition of same sex marriage in the province of Ontario. We applaud the tremendous courage and patience of our gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-gendered citizens in the struggle to win equality before the law and have been delighted to witness the many successes to-date.
As systems therapists, we appreciate how the efforts to gain security and recognition for some of our citizens will eventually be of benefit to us all. As prejudice and injustice diminish us all, so are we all empowered by inclusivity and equality. We have arrived at the day that every couple who chooses to have a registered marriage can do so effortlessly and their energy can be directed to the happiness and health of the relationship.
Congratulations to everyone who diligently advocated for equality in the right to marry. We are pleased to support and strengthen all loving and committed relationships through ceremony, celebration and recognition amongst family and friends.
The Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, founded in 1975, is the professional home to over 700 couple and family therapists across the province. It is a division of the Registry of Marriage and Family Therapists in Canada, Inc., which is a part of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. AAMFT, established in 1942 is an international professional association with over 23,000 members. Activities and membership are dedicated to the promotion of the profession of marriage and family therapy and the advancement of practices and principles, which enhance individual and family well being.
MSW RSW RMFT
July 10, 2003
Dear Kevin and Joe:
First, I would like to thank you for your efforts on behalf of the gay community to fight for equal marriage. Congratulations on being wonderful spokesmen and winning such a stunning victory for our community.
Attached is a letter I just mailed to the Prime Minister expressing my thanks for the recent government and court decisions.
It is important to thank our politicians for having the courage to, at last, honour our Charter rights. We encourage others to do the same, and thank you for your support!
July 16, 2003
Dear Equal Marriage:
Among the presidential candidates, the 1st and perhaps only major party presidential candidate to unequivocally support same sex marriages nationwide is Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
The candidate's web site refers to civil unions. We hope that he will go further and state his support for same-sex marriage explicitly on his web site.
July 19, 2003
A good day to you! WE are from Edmonton, AB. I would like to bring to your attention in this particular front page of Edmonton Journal dated July 18, 2003. It says that Alberta will fight same-sex law and as no other provinces is standing up to Ottawa, therefore, Justice Minister Dave Hancock even said that someone (in Alberta) has to take leadership.
Talking of "taking the leadership", doesn't mean Alberta can do anything to stop the legislation from setting the same-sex marriage laws because [that is done] in Ottawa, the main capital of Canada. Besides, there are already two provinces accepting same-sex couples and even issueing marriage licenses ... Alberta is doing something really stupid.
We are living on the same land, drinking the same water resource and breathing the same air. How possible is it for an anti-same-sex province to fight against the law when it has already become reality? Isn't Canada a place to live FREE, be FREE, discrimination FREE?
No other province stood up to Ottawa simply because they know it consumes time and money to do so. They are the smart ones but Alberta make a boo boo.
By restricting gay-marriage in Alberta, [it] is equal to taking away our rights to live as who we are and discriminating [against] who we are. That is unhealthy and UNFAIR!!! Same-sex couples are great-hearted people who live lovingly with peacefully, happiness and harmony, we don't make troubles for anyone, we just want a living space like any other normal people and to be accepted too.
Therefore, nobody can discriminate [against] anyone in the eyes of law and land of CANADA. No matter what, Alberta has to bow its head to accept the same-sex marriage law.
Ivann and Leslie
Most Rev. Bishop
Dear Bishop Plouffe:
We would like to voice our strong disapproval of the stand that the Catholic bishops are taking on the issue of homosexual marriage. We are regular and involved participants at our church and we are faithful supporters, but this very anti-Christian stance that the church is taking certainly shakes one's faith in such an institution.
Since Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly" then the enhancement of life is at the centre of Christian ministry. By diminishing or not allowing for that enhancement then the church is violating both the Gospel and its mission. When will the homophobia stop?
This legislation is allowing churches to have the right to decide whether they will perform the ceremony. Why is the Catholic church trying to stop the legislation? The only reason can be that the church is discriminating against children of God, many of whom are members of the Body of Christ.
Please reconsider your position. I would appreciate hearing from you on this matter. We are strongly considering removing our support form the church if our funds are being used to advance this position.
David and Marianne
Thank you for copying us on this letter, and for your support! We were raised as Catholics, but we left the Church as teens, when we realized we were not welcome. We were spiritual orphans for years, until we found a welcoming faith community over two decades later at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. It is painful, therefore, to find that leaving the Catholic Church did not end our persecution by the Bishops.
We encourage all Catholics of conscience to write to their Bishop to complain about the Catholic Church's abuse of spirituality and their effort to turn their faithful against Canadian Charter values and human rights. Please consider withholding your financial support of the Church. Instead of contributing money into their collection plates, drop a note, stating why you are withholding funds and what the Church must do in order to regain your support.
July 23, 2003
Dear Kevin and Joe,
It's disturbing to hear not only Klein but also some Liberals bring up the possibility of invoking the notwithstanding clause. Of course it's a near impossibility, but still--I wonder if there isn't a way to squash whatever possibility there is as well as the hope for that possibility.
I'm not a legal expert (actually I know almost nothing about the law, so this may be a silly suggestion), but I believe the notwithstanding clause doesn't apply to section 28 of the Charter. So if your legal team could ask the Supreme Court whether the ban on same-sex marriage violates section 28, that might put same-sex marriage on even stronger legal ground. I know the Ontario Appeal court refused to consider this issue since the sexual-orientation discrimination was much more relevent than the sex discrimination but given the circumstances, (i.e. Klein refusing to hand out marriage licenses to gay couples) it may be very relevent to the reference.
There has been a backlash from religious groups and conservatives, as you know, and that backlash may grow. It may be worth strengthening the defenses.
What do you think?
Thanks for the suggestion, regarding section 28 of the Charter. At the suggestion of Kathy Lahey, one of the lawyers involved in the marriage case (B.C.), this was tried and rejected by the court, as you point out, and will not be accepted for the reference either.
We appreciate your effort to push forward with success. Please consider visiting or calling your local MP to advocate equal marriage, and engage your friends, colleagues or supporters to do the same. We are confident in our legal victory, but we need to push hard for the political one too.
July 26, 2003
I would first like to thank you for your great work. I have been receiving and reading your very informative updates on gay marriages regularly. As I was reading your last one talking about the catholic church response to gay marriage etc.. I thought that it may be a good idea to add the following link to your list for advocaby etc.. (it is in French and talks about the Quebec catholic church position etc.) Of course, they are opposed, even if the majority of Quebecois support gay marriage ...
As you may know, the Catholic church is still very powerfull in Quebec even if it is in fact in decline in the population. It is important that French speaking people also put pressure on the catholic church in Quebec for gay marriage to pass in the fall. I wil myself write a letter to them.
Thank you for this reference, and for writing to the Catholic Church in Quebec. We all must share in responsibility for resisting the bigotry of the Catholic bishops as long as they continue to interfere in Canadian secular law and rights.
July 30, 2003
I am a producer for the national PBS television show Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. I am doing a story on gay marriages and would like to film an American couple getting married in Canada.
Thanks so much,