Selection Of Your Comments
March 4, 2003
I've just finished reading your wonderful book "Just Married" ... I wanted to contact you to let you know how much I appreciated your story and coming from a catholic background how I could relate to some of what you said. I was at St John the Evanglist church here in Ottawa the evening you gave your presentation and thoroughly enjoyed both of you.You even autographed my copy of your book to my partner Gerry and myself ... Once again thank you both for sharing your strugles and know that there are many out there who are cheering you on.
Regards Ron Clow and Gerry Dalton
March 8, 2003
Dear Kevin & Joe:
Thanks so much for taking time to participate in Spinlaw 2003. Your dedication to equality and justice is an inspiration to all. Thanks for sharing your story.
David Eby, Spinlaw
March 11, 2003
Joe and Kevin,
I am a law student in the US writing a scholarly article on the status of the recognition of same-sex marriages in Canada. I'm in the middle of reading your book right now and am finding it extremely helpful and insightful. I admire you both for your courage! I am writing to inquire how I might acquire copies of the briefs filed in the Halpern v. Toronto case. My hope is that you either know that answer or can refer me to someone who does. I would be so very grateful!
Thank you for your time,
Legal documents associated with the Ontario marriage case are available at:
March 11, 2003
Just wanted to thank you again for the fantastic job the two of you did. I heard nothing but great comments from the other members. Your presentation was clear, personal and powerful.
We're always willing to replace Allan Rock! ;)
March 18, 2003
Kevin and Joe,
Hi there. My partner and I are going to be married in August and we're trying to decide on a locale. Sage and I live in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively. Pennsylvania is downright unfriendly (the original legislation actually used the word "repugnant") and New Jersey is not a great deal better. Sure, we've got Vermont, but neither of us has any ties there, nor have we ever been there. We do both love Quebec, though, having each spent time there before we met. Would you happen to have any advice about how two madly-in-love American women might be able to get married there?
Michael Hendricks and René LeBoeuf, our partners for equality who are working for marriage in Quebec, kindly agreed to share their expertise:
For non-citizens, we don't know but we can ask. However, civil union is not as simple as in Vermont where it appears to take a few hours. Here you have to apply and then they take three weeks to "announce it" --- like reading the bans in the Church. Then you go to the Palais de justice --- the Court House --- and a kind of ceremony is held. You bring your own cassette -- no rice allowed. Or you can rent a church or just get a minister to marry you in his/her church -- the Unitarians are big on this.
Sadly I had the opportunity to read your diatribe of hate presented to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. My partner of 35 years and I will be also making a presentation on April 1. This is to give you notice that his name is Bob, not Lassie, or Shep. He does not have four legs, but two. He is not my sister, but as God declared in Genesis, he has provided us both with a help-mate, Bob is mine and I am his. A pastor who is very close to us often declares that he is a Christian in spite of Christians.
We are both Christians and believe God's Word is never changing, however over the centuries His Word has been bastardized by people ... whose hearts are so filled with hate [they] cannot understand the real love of two people. In fact sir you [seem to] have no understanding of the love of Jesus. You and your church [seem to] worship a god of hate and destruction, who has risen from the depths of hell, to preside, and rule over your lives.
I pray that the One and only Living God will remove the scales of ignorance and hate from your blind eyes, and recognize the beauty of His creation.
March 25, 2003
I am disturbed by reports coming out about the Justice Committee hearings on same-sex marriage you are chairing wherein statements equating homosexuality with bestiality, pedophilia, and incest are being permitted and not challenged by you, the Chair. This is unacceptable.
The purpose of these hearings, as I understand them to be, is to get a "reading" on what Canadians think of the concept of permitting same-sex marriage to become legal in Canada.
No one expects all witnesses presenting at these hearings to agree with the concept, and the witnesses need to be permitted to voice their opposition, just as those in agreement should be permitted to voice their support. However, to allow such derogatory and damaging slurs to be made against homosexuals and to permit witnesses to imply that homosexuals should be eliminated because "it says so in the Bible" is repugnant.
As Chair you need to remain unbiased and objective, regardless of your own stated views on the issue, but you also must ensure a modicum of decorum is followed and to enforce that requirement.
March 26, 2003
It was interesting reading your remarks to the marriage hearings, conducted by Parliament's Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
I will pray for you and your thoughts about bestiality and incest, sir, and for God to open your eyes to the message of Jesus, to love thy neighbour as thyself.
When in Ottawa, we must make a point of visiting your church and witnessing a congregation who never mixes fabrics (also an abomination) and never eats pork products (be careful with that Easter ham).
As a lesbian who has no interest in going to "lie with a man as one lies with a woman", by your narrow focus on biblical warnings I am exempt. As you put it, "Words have meaning. To us, this is very clear. Once you start playing with the words and changing the meaning of the words, then you can come up with a different view."
Please excuse any note of sarcasm as I mean my message in the most heartfelt and sincere way.
God bless you and may God open your eyes to the legacy of ignorance, bigotry and hatred however mistakenly spread.
March 26, 2003
Thank you for the opportunity to speak before the Standing Committee on Same Sex Marriage. However, my wife, Gail Donnelly and I have now chosen not to appear before this Committee on April 10 at our allotted time of 11:30 a.m. when it convenes in Toronto.
Based on the demonstrated behavior of a number of the members of this Committee to those who appear in support of same sex marriage for gay and lesbian couples, no good purpose would be served by us submitting ourselves to such a hostility. From the statements made by members of this Committee, it is clear that there is an overriding opinion that is favoured (most minds have been made up). That opinion doesn't support marriage for same sex couples. And anyone who espouses any other opinion is ridiculed. I have observed a lack of impartiality, an unwillingness to listen respectfully to any other opinions other than those that appear to be supported by a large number of the members of this Committee. The atmosphere has been abusive, petty and rude. If there is a real desire to gather the thoughts and opinions of ALL Canadians from all sides of the issue, this Committee provides little evidence of such a desire. What has been experienced by those with views that differ from those of the committee has been bigotry and an inability to move beyond the misinformation and limited stereotypes associated with the gay and lesbian community.
Our daughter, Jessica, had expressed a desire to speak before this Committee. However, after reading the transcripts, we wouldn't consider exposing her to such a hostile environment
The conduct of this committee has been deplorable and you as the Chair, Mr. Scott, must bear a great deal of the responsibility for not setting standards of conduct for your members and holding them accountable for their actions. It is your duty to create a safe space for all who take this process seriously, take time out of their busy lives to put together a brief of considerable length and then to come before you to present their comments.
Gail and I will continue to speak to Canadians about this issue outside the limited confines of this Committee. We will do so in an environment that encourages and supports the sharing and understanding of all opinions, even those that don't agree with our own. That can only contribute to the good of all Canadians.
March 27, 2003
Dear Joe and Kevin:
I'm a west coast dyke living common law, I suppose they'd say, with my partner Meg. We've wanted to get married and still are planning for the day that we win. This issue, if successful, will be greatly due to your courage and tenacity. Thanks! I was also wondering if you could tell me when the "gong show" is coming to Vancouver....I'd like to give them a piece of my mind, that's for sure!
All the best,
The committee's travel plans are posted on our site, along with information about how to participate. There was a deadline of March 14, but perhaps the clerk still has space? If people can't get on the schedule, please consider lending support to those who will be speaking for equality, and maybe share your story with the media. I believe the day in Vancouver begins on April 1 at 8:30 a.m.: Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside, 1133 West Hasting St., Harbourside Ballroom 1 (second floor).