Selection Of Your Comments
January 11, 2004
I think I have to disagree with your assessment of the idea of getting the government out of the marriage business altogether and replacing "civil marriage" with "civil union". I think it's a great idea.
It seems to me that a large part of the problem right now is that the word "marriage" is so emotionally charged and so ill-defined. Currently there are two broad definitions to the word, that is, civil marriage which imparts legal rights and responsibilities, and religious marriage, which relates to the religious teachings of the specific church. If someone objects to "gay marriage", what are they objecting to? The religious marriage or the civil marriage? I think in many cases they don't know themselves. It is a confusing term.
I think a lot of people object to the concept of gay "marriage" because they envision the whole church thing. I believe several polls have shown that many people who object to gay "marriage" don't necessarily object to gay people having the same rights and responsibilities, they just object to that heavily-charged word "marriage".
So, it seems to me, getting the word out of the legal canon and back to the churches where (I think) it belongs is a terrific idea.
Then straight or gay people can get "married" within the doctrines of their own religion and that can mean whatever they want it to to themselves personally, but it will have no legal weight. And straight or gay people can get "civil unioned" through the government and obtain the legal rights and responsibilities of that union with no implication to any particular church or religion. Two separate acts with two separate words.
We believe the Catholic Church has provided an answer to your question: "If someone objects to "gay marriage", what are they objecting to?"
According to the Vatican, same-sex marriage will "modify the younger generation's perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour ... Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity."
Such ignorance and prejudice should not be the basis or justification for ending access to civil marriage for all Canadians, gay or straight.
January 13, 2004
Hello, my name is Katherine and I am a 15 year old girl living in the small town of Trenton, Ontario. My reason for sending you this e-mail is simply to let the both of you know the tremendous amount of respect I have for you. You have helped paved the way for many people out there who are scared to speak up for their rights.
I am enroled in grade 10 at a local school and recently had to do a presentation for my law class. Chosing a topic was quite the dillema, but I finally decided to pick something that I found people needed to hear about and understand. My topic was same-sex marriage. I believe very firmly that everyone -- heterosexual or not -- should have the right to marriage and it is time people recognized that. At first I was worried that this topic would cause lots of contraversy in the classroom and that possibly people would not take me seriously. But, after doing some research and coming upon your website I decided it was something I needed to do. I thought to myself that if you had the courage to go against what so many people around you thought thought was wrong and to make this something that was recognized across Canada, then I would be more than able to do a simple presentation.
I don't really know what the purpose of my e-mail was but I simply wanted to let you know that I respect what you have done and that I hope the best for the both of you.
When we were asked to be a part of this effort, we realized that we had to say yes, because we understood that the rights we had up to that point (in 2000) had been achieved through the work of others who came before us, and it was now our good fortune to be in a position to carry on a little bit further. We are glad that our effort has inspired you and we are grateful that you had the courage to become a change agent too. No doubt your own effort has, in turn, caused others to think, and perhaps act. That is how all of us will make a difference. It's a honour to be working with you.
January 20, 2004
As I read your latest post about Valentines Day, my thoughts went back to the battles and victories of the last few years and we realize that there are still many who don't share the same rights as we do in Ontario and British Columbia. Bob and I will marry this year on July 17th, two days after our 36th anniversary. We will marry at Ryerson United Church, with Pastor Gary Patterson and Pastor Rick Morcombe performing the blessing on our marriage and relationship. After the ceremony we will, along with our friends, proceed to the Courthouse Inn, which is located at the Supreme Court of B.C. Building. We felt this would be the ideal place for our reception, after all what better place than where we obtained the same rights other Canadians have always had. Our hearts go out to both Canadian and American couples, who are in love, however at this time unable to legally celebrate that love. We pray that soon and very soon, they too will be able to share the same joy and rights we now celebrate. We thank you both for your website, your advocacy and your strong voices for equal rights. You are both stars in our eyes.
January 22, 2004
Hi I'm Russ, 41, youngest of six kids and gay. I believe in the freedom of speech & freedom to live the way we're born.
As for the government wanting to preserve the word marriage to heterosexuals only, I find ridiculous. I have five siblings, all of which have been married more than once. SO I believe that we as homosexuals should be allowed too marry anywhere in Canada, any Province any City, and should not be dictated by each premier. The Government of Canada should be the only decision.
Listserve to defeat Dennis Mills in election.
Back in November a few of us organized to drop a leaflet displaying Dennis Mills voting record on LGBT issues. We hand delivered almost 10,000 leaflets to homes in the riverdale side of the Toronto Danforth Riding.
Many people have expressed an interest in helping to defeat our anti-queer MP Dennis Mills. If anyone is intersted in organizing a Toronto Danforth Queer team against Dennis Mills in the upcomming election please sign on to this listserve so that we may set up a first meeting. Just send a message to this email address with no subject or body:
January 23, 2004
You and your bravery make us proud and happy - God bless you (which he appears to be doing). Canada appears to be lightyears ahead of the USA ... but lets hope for a better future ....
Best wishes ...
John Johnson and Dennis Holub
January 26, 2004
Kevin Boarassa and Joe Varnell:
I wanted to draw to your attention the matter of Ohio House Bill 272 which bans same-sex marriage in the state of Ohio. The Senate has passed House Bill 272 and our Governor, Taft, has publicly declared that he will sign the bill. Ohio has a significant population of gays and lesbians who will suffer from the discriminatory nature of this bill.
We in Ohio implore you to do anything you can to assist us in striking down this prejudicial bill. We have a substantial number of Ohioans whose opinions are being ignored by Ohio Congress in this matter. We have contacted Ohio Congress via email, postal mail, and telephone, voicing our concerns, to no avail. Any assistance you can provide in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
January 26, 2004
We were sent a copy of this letter to the Editor of the Vancouver Sun, regarding the marriage of a British Columbia cabinet minister:
A few comments about your article in Monday's Vancouver Sun. First we wish to congratulate Ted and Jan on this important event in their lives. Also, like us they have been engaged for over 30 years. But we feel a great sadness that they felt their friends needed to be sworn to secrecy and the marriage appears to have been a closeted affair. While we were taking our fight through the courts neither Mr. Nebberling or Mr. Mayencourt offered any support for our right to marry. In fact Mr. Mayencourt tried to convince us that RDP'S (Registered Domestic Partnerships) was the route to go.
We are very happy that Ted and Jan are finally able to legally marry, however we can't thank them for participating in the long process that allowed them to do so. We will be married on July 17th of this year, two days after our 36th anniversary. No, we won't swear our friends to secrecy, it'll be a church wedding and we'll walk down the aisle with pride. The pride in knowing that we were a small part of changing the face of Canada. We only wish that Ted, Jan and Lorne would have walked with us.
January 26, 2004
Dear Kevin and Joe I am just writing to tell you that I am so glad that you have started this web site and supported this cause. I am planning on using your organization for a university politics essay about political participation and interest groups ...Thank you again and I wish you luck with your cause.
January 27, 2004
Congratulations on your wedding! I hope that people will come to understand that samesex marriage is about two people who love each other and that no one can fight that!
January 28, 2004
Wish I could support the list of clergy in favour, but I am a Brtit living in London , UK,--- incidentally with my partner of 30 years, Michael , I outed myself in the Times last year, in hope of suppporting Jefrey John for bishop of Reading (Berkshire, UK). I am an anglican priest. Our only Canadian connection is that we are saving to come to Canada to get married, as soon as we've saved-up for it !
Anyway, Best wishes
Although you cannot be included in our database of Canadian clergy, you can still share your powerful story and express your support for equal marriage to our politicians. We encourage you to write, with hope you and Michael will soon be able to visit Canada for your marriage.
January 28, 2004
Hello, I am an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada. I received [an email about the clergy database] from a member of my congregation and would like to express my support for same sex marriage. I have already performed several ceremonies for same sex couples and have several more planned. Good luck with your work.
Rev. Keltie van Binsbergen
My partner and I just got married in BC but my heart will be with all of you from the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere. Congratulations! And good luck on the trail and beyond.