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Read more about Just Married

 

 

Link to learn more about how you can contribute to  a trust account in aid of all five marriage cases underway across Canada (British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec)

 

 

 

London Pride:  Speaking engagement and our marriage march  (July 12 to 13, 2003)

 

 

 

 

Link to learn more about the CERSGOSIG database.

 

 

 

Link to our appearance at the Halifax Pride parade, July 19, 2003 (1:30 p.m.)

 

 

 

 

 

March for equal marriage at Montreal Pride on Sunday, August 3, 2003

 

 

 

Witness Our Welcome 2003:  Join us  for a workshop  based on our book  JUST MARRIED,  in Philadelphia on August 16, 2003

 

 

 

Link to Pride York Region

 

 

Link your web site to ours with one of our animated links.
Help spread the word

 

 

 

 

SELECT to read "Prime Minister's legacy is linked to same-sex marriage"

 

 

 

 

External link to Pride York Region

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to OAMFT article:  What is Marriage and Family Therapy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

External link to A Loft In Victoria (British Columbia)

 

 

Link to our report on Alberta's stance against equality.

 

 

 

 

Link to our listing at Speakers' Spotlight

 

 

 

 

External Link to Authentic Lives

 

 

 

Donate to Equal Marriage Fund online by clicking below:

Enquiries: Bruce Walker (416) 961-7451
Details about trust account.

 

 

 

Our year in review - 2002

 

 

 

 

The morning after - a new reality with same-sex marriage

 

 

Travelling to Ontario to get married?  Marriage advisory

 

 

 

 

Link to Marriage Equality - New York

 

 

SELECT to read "Why can't my mom's get married?"

 

 

SELECT to read "Egads!  It's Egan again! Ontario Appeal - Day 2

 

 

 

 

SELECT to read "The Ontario Appeal - Day Four - Independence Dais

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Married will be featured in the 2003 WIlde About Sappho literary events, sponsored by the Lambda Foundation For Excellence.  External link to buy tickets.

 

 

 

 

Religion vs. Sexual Orientation - Lecture By Dr. Robert Wintemute

 

 

The United Church of Canada has urged Ottawa to end marriage discrimination

 

 

 

 

The voice of 2.5 million workers - read our coverage of support from the Canadian Labour Congress

 

 

 

External link to RG Magazine

 

 

 

 

External link to le Marginal

 

 

CLIQUEZ ici pour lire  "Gays, gays, marions-nous!"

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Mark and Steven
Mark and Steven plan to arrive in Ontario from the United Kingdom for their marriage.

 

 

 

 

CUPE calls for equal marriage - CLICK to read their submission to the justice committee (MS Word doc)

 

 

 

Link to letters to the Prime Minister of Canada - Please write!

 

 

 

 

CLICK to read Beverly Smith's testimony to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in Edmonton, Alberta on April 2, 2003

 

 

 

 


The liberation of marriage

 

 

 

Link to our Report From London Pride 2002
See our report from last year's London Pride - we return again this year

 

 

 

 

Send this page to a friend!

 

A Selection Of Your Comments
June 2003

   
January 2003 December 2002

 

June 1, 2003

Dear Kevin and Joe,

Just would like to drop a quick note to mention something I just encountered. I hope you guys are aware that the Paul Martin campaign are using to your website as evidence that "our guy is for gay marriage", and going around saying how thrill you guys are about Mr. Martin's stance on equal marriage when campaigning in the gay community.

And when I visited your website, with Mr. Martin's campaign logo on the front page et al, it does give the perception that you guys are endorsing Mr. Martin. That perception is somewhat cleared up after I read the article in details.

It is quite disappointing that prominent equality advocates like yourselves are not openly supporting Sheila Copps, the only candidate committed to put equal marriage on the government agenda, the candidate that has been on our side for decades. It is even more disheartening that leaders like you, who should have the expertise to read between the lines, fail to point out the hypocrisy of Mr. Martin (or Mr. Manley for that effect, who merely said he supports the concept of equal marriage but refuse to commit to make that an agenda item).

Mr. Martin does not support equal marriage. His attitude is no different from Jim Flaherty, basically, "I am doing this cuz' the court tell me to".

You gentlemen are opinion leaders in the queer community. I sincerely urge you to come out publicly in support of a true ally, and urge your contacts to take out membership of the Liberal Party before June 20th (deadline to be eligible to vote in the leadership vote) to support Sheila Copps.

Yours,

Milton Chan

Thank you for your comments regarding the Liberal party and same-sex marriage. We're sorry you are disappointed that we are not supporting Sheila Copps. In fact, we are not supporting any federal Liberal candidate. A review of our web site will reveal that we have been highly critical of the federal Liberal party for the past two and-a-half years. It is a stance that is softening, as the party begins to drop their fight against us. We explain this position in our most recent posting, "A thaw in relations: Committee will support equal marriage".

Similarly, we have been critical of Mr. Martin. We were invited to speak to the media about this criticism, and we appeared on CBC's "The Current" to specifically talk about the Liberal leadership candidates, and during that program we did acknowledge Sheila's long-standing support.

But we are softening our position against Mr. Martin, as he softens his position against us. In this link, again we acknowledge that "Martin's fellow leadership hopefuls, John Manley and Sheila Copps, have been unreserved in their support for a legislative change to marriage" unlike the qualified support ("If that lower court decision is upheld") of Martin.

You write about "expertise to read between the lines". We gently suggest we are doing just that, as well as writing between the lines. The movement in (the Catholic) Mr. Martin's position is a dramatic one, considering the pressure he is under from his backbench support, known as "the God Squad". It is our belief, our lawyers' belief, and the view of the strategists who advise us, that Mr. Martin should be encouraged in his steps, and we are pleased to hear from you, that indeed his camp has been encouraged. Such encouragement will serve our cause well.

As for your advocacy for Sheila Copps, we admire your political engagement (there aren't enough of us involved) and if you are working with Sheila, you can let her know that we would be happy to give her additional exposure if she wishes to write a piece for our site, or if you care to interview her on the issue (remember our scope is limited to same-sex marriage) for our site. However, we will not be encouraging our supporters to register and vote for any Liberal candidate.

We are in touch with Liberal party members, we sometimes take advice from Liberal politicians who meet with us, and we have attended fundraisers and contributed finances to the Liberal party. We were also card-carrying members of the Alliance party for one year, when we supported Enza "Supermodel" Anderson in her 2002 campaign for leadership.

Our work takes us to unexpected and sometimes strange places. As advocates we are in touch and work with many people from across spectrums. And in our role, we are perceived in many lights. We are libertines to some, conservatives to others, we're radicals or we're conformists, we're Christians or heathens, self-centred consumers or self-sacrificing socialists ... we are long used to being an endless palette for the projections of others.

However our political support is firmly with Jack Layton and the NDP party (who we have also financially supported). You mention a "true ally": We believe that the NDP more aptly fits that definition when you are talking about the queer community.


June 1, 2003

CLICK to read Spaced Out Testimony - Catholic Women's League spewed bizarre and hateful statements  during the marriage hearing in Ottawa.Do not hold the Catholic Women's League responsible for what one person said at the Hearings. This person spoke on her own behalf . No one speaks for the CWL only the National group. I have been a member for 42 years and I am embarrassed about her evidence. Please remove the CWL email address from your articles and thanks for keeping the public informed as to what is happening. Thank you.

Irene Wojcik Gabon

Ms. Rita Curley identified herself in the hearings as Christian family life convenor of St. Ignatius Martyr Council of the Catholic Women's League of Canada. We understand that the CWL has subsequently distanced itself from the hateful comments made by Curley. The CWL should play an active role in holding its members accountable, and indeed, in holding the Canadian Catholic Bishops and the Vatican responsible for encouraging such hate-mongering. As long as the CWL resists full and equal marriage for gay and lesbian couples, we encourage our supporters to write to the CWL. The position of the Catholic church fosters hatred in people like Curley. All Catholics share a responsibility in ending the spiritual abuse committed by their church against their own faithful and others in the community at large. As members of a faith community, we share your embarrassment, and like us, we hope your feelings will lead to personal commitment to act for justice and equality.


June 10, 2003

Hi Joe and Kevin!

I was in NYC when I heard about it today ... its big news all over!! Tu and I have been together for the last 19 years and we were elated!! It takes heroes ... like the two of you to bring this forward ... we both congratulate you!!!

Marc Garand

It's a good day to be Canadian.


June 10, 2003

Dear Kevin, dear Joe,

there are no words to express my joy for you, but also for everyone of us! Your love is making the difference.

Congratulations!

Love, Stefano Fabeni

Link to our report Marriage Partnerships and Parenting in the 21st Century conferenceWe greatly appreciate your support and we treasure meeting you and learning from some of the world's leading advocates when we were in Turin. It has been an amazing journey and a privilege to share it with you. We know that there is more work to be done, but for the moment, our hearts are full with gratitude and celebration.


June 10, 2003

CONGRATULATIONS to Kevin and Joey! We are legally married! THANKYOU to Douglas and the legal team! We couldn't have done this without you!!! Thanks to all the other couples, especially those who stood in the limelight again and again. We'll all be able to get on with "ordinary" married life!

Love and Best Wishes,
Anne and Elaine

We are so happy that we shared our wedding day with you, and the milestones along the way.


June 10, 2003

I wish you every blessing today on your marriage, and share with you great joy on today's ruling in Ontario.

Best wishes,

David Anderson

Thanks for your support through-out this process (and the folks like Brad & Brian who hosted MCC Toronto fundraisers)!


June 10, 2003

Congratulations on today's big news - I'm so very pleased for you and, heck, I'm really happy for all of us! I guess there's hope for us all as members of the human race, no?

Heather Shaw


June 10, 2003

Kevin and Joe,

I just heard the news from Harry Knox at National Freedom to Marry here in the US. I'm sure the battles aren't quite over yet but this is a wonderful victory and the long fight the two of you have headed will make a huge difference for humankind everywhere. I certainly can't speak for all of us but personally, from the bottom of heart, I thank you.

When I heard I got chills and began to tear up - I'm just sooo excited for you.

Regards,

Lisa Beelle
NH Freedom To Marry Coalition

Thank you for support. It really is a win for all of us! We were impressed with the commitment and passion of the people we met in New Hampshire and hope that we'll be celebrating a U.S. victory for equal marriage sometime soon.


June 10, 2003

Dear Kevin and Joe,

Here's to the both of you. We thank you for your wonderful, never-ceasing, much-appreciated, and successful efforts. We are excited about your coming to Halifax in July and hope to see you then.

Hal Walsh Howard Heyman

We are looking forward to celebrating with you in Halifax! Thanks for your support and your own contribution in the Halifax community.


June 10, 2003

Heard the news today!! So when's the honeymoon?

Love, Charmaine

We delayed our honeymoon, following our January 14, 2001 marriage, until we had successfully achieved registration of the marriage. It looks like our marriage will be registered before we have finished our confirmed obligations on a summer speaking and pride parade tour. We will make our plans as we near the end of our summer tour. But we won't stop until all Canadians enjoy equal marriage!


June 10, 2003

Dear Kevin and Joe,

On behalf of everyone at gaiety.ca Magazine, we would like to congratulate both of you. Today's court ruling is such awesome news. This places Canada at the forefront in this battle for equality. Both of you must be very proud.

Sincerely,

Ronald Cumber
Director of Business Development
gaiety.ca Magazine

Gaiety Magazine has a team of enthusiastic people who are driven to make a difference in the community. Thank you for supporting equal marriage from the publication's first days. These are excitingtimes, made more so with Gaiety there to influence and record the days ahead.


June 10, 2003

Hi Guys,

Congratulations!!! I guess the champagne will be flowing tonight and you'll have a little more to talk about next wednesday evening.

Ian & Cheryl
Pride York Region

We have greatly admired the energy and results that come from Pride York Region. Your early and enthusiastic support for equal marriage was very helpful and your political engagement effective. Thanks for your your contribution!


June 10, 2003

What a GREAT day! Congratulations to you and all the others who have worked so hard for today.

With very best wishes,

S. and P. (names removed in 2006 by request)


June 11, 2003

Congratulations Kevin & Joe ... we're going to fly to Toronto to get married!

Dawn and Elizabeth Barbeau


June 11, 2003

Greetings Kevin and Joe

Heard your news first thing this morning (our time) - absolutely wonderful!!! ... the ramifications of this decision are huge, and I just have to thank you for the enormous energy and commitment that you have put into this (along with all the others working with, for and around you). It certainly brings into serious question the current plans of our Government to introduce a Civil Union Bill - when the critical language of our Bill of Rights Act is essentially based on the wording of the Canadian Charter!

Once again - congratulations.

Love and bestest wishes

Nigel Christie
New Zealand, LeGaLE


June 11, 2003

Dear Mr. Bourassa & Mr. Varnell,

In a time of darkness in our native land, my wife and I are dancing with joy for the two of you. Congratulations on striking a great blow for civil rights -- and human rights. May your union be long, healthy and happy.

Perhaps on this joyous occasion, we can offer you the words which have meant so much to our own marriage. They are from John Milton's essay on divorce -- a marvelous document about marriage, ironically enough. And they provide great evidence against those who might find anything wrong with gay marriage, "falsly suppos[ing it] against the expresse end of [God's] own ordinance. And what his chiefe end was of creating woman to be joynd with man, his own instituting words declare, and are infallible to informe us what is mariage, and what is no mariage: unlesse we can think them set there to no purpose: It is not good, saith he, that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. From which words so plain, lesse cannot be concluded, nor is by any learned Interpreter, then that in Gods intention a meet and happy conversation is the chiefest and the noblest end of mariage: for we find here no expression so necessarily implying carnall knowledge, as this prevention of lonelines to the mind and spirit of man."

We have long thought that, in the spirit of those words, no state can prevent gay marriages: they happen any time that the "marriage of true minds" (in the words of another poet) happen. But it is an enormous joy that at last your marriage will -- in at least one place on our continent -- be recognized for what it is by the transient and fallible authority of the State. May it soon be recognized in our country as well!! (Come on, Massachusetts SJC...)

We wish you all the happiness of a lifetime in your own meet and happy conversation. As we say in our tradition: MAZEL TOV!!!!!!

All the best in your newly married life,

Stephen & Sara Frug

U.S. support has been with us from the beginning of the drive for equal marriage in Canada. We dearly hope that the Canadian experience will contribute to efforts now underway in the United States. We are closely watching the casses in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and elsewhere. We encourage our American friends to consider finding ways to support same-sex couples in your home state. Check our links section for U.S. marriage advocacy contacts. We stand in solidarity for universal human rights.


June 11, 2003

Can you tell me if a marriage in Ontario would be valid here in BC, or will we need to wait until the law changes here as well ?

Shirley

We expect all provinces will soon align themselves to the new reality established by the Court of Appeal for Ontario. The Federal government will soon respond in a manner that will confirm the legality of these marriages, and provinces will then follow Ontario, and thereafter recognize same-sex marriages established here, or elsewhere.


June 11, 2003

Dear Kevin and Joe,

Congratulations on the recognition of your marriage and all my best wishes.

Patrick Roussel
Halifax, NS

This is a victory for all Canadians. We look forward to celebrating in the Halifax Pride parade.


June 11, 2003

Greetings from New York City!

My partner, Bill, and I were married (symbolically) in a church service in NYC in 2001; we are both US citizens, but will be in Ontario for the last week of June at a conference. We understand that US citizens are able to be married in Canada, and we are wondering about adding a trip to City Hall to our itinerary. As it happens, we could possibly extend the trip to Gay Pride Day.

Any thoughts? Will there be any kind of "marriage thing" during Pride? I'm just wondering if we could make it an extra special Pride Day by spending it in Toronto rather than NY, and getting legally married.

Many thanks for any advice or insights you might offer

Jon Hall Bill Powers

There will certainly be a celebration of equal marriage in the pride parade in Toronto. In addition, the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto will be conducting marriages during Pride week.


June 11, 2003

Congratulations on our victory in the long hard fight towards equality and justice. I couldn't be happier or pouder to be a citizen of Ontario to-day and know we are that much closer to a just and fair society. Thanks so much for all your brave and enduring efforts!

Pam Santon
President Elect
The Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

Policies of inclusion in organizations like OAMFT helped establish the standards for acceptance of gay and lesbian couples in Ontario, helping make a win of equality possible in this great province.


June 11, 2003

Kevin and Joe,

Just want to wish both of you best wishes on the court victory. Hopefully this means you have now arrived at your third stage. That being said, relax (for a little while) and enjoy the victory. As you have seen, the courts do, sometimes, see the just outcome of things.

As I write this I'm staring out at the incredible harbour of Corfu in Greece on my month-long trip around Europe before the endentured servantry of lawering falls upon me.Good news travels far.

Cheers to you both,

Dave


June 12, 2003

Hi Kevin and Joe, Just wanted to pass on my heartfelt congratulations on your marriage finally receiving recognition. I am so proud to have played a minor roll in that momentous event. Many blessings!

Ian Ross

Thank you for your technical expertise in sound and light. You helped send a message around the world.


June 12, 2003

Richard Blaquiere, producer of our tour in support of equal marriage.Hi and congratulations:
I am so proud to know you guys. This is serious history being made. Be well.

Richard Blaquiere

We are very grateful to Richard for producing our speaking tour to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in November 2002. Richard pulled together a great agenda, with a supporting team of wonderful volunteers to make the advocacy tour a success. He continues to be a change agent in the maritimes.


June 12, 2003

Dear Mr. & Mr. Bourassa-Varnell (How cute is that!!!),

CONGRATS! on your incredible victory and putting up such a wonderful fight!!! I cried...ok so I'm still crying...when I read the news (365gay.com & PlanetOut.com) of the court ruling and your tremendous win. I wish you and all the other couples that fought this tremendous battle all the best.

OH CANADA! Perhaps when the dust settles a little up there, you can send a little reason to your southern neighbor ;-)

Thank You and Best Wishes!!!

Mike Juvrud
Minnesota USA


June 12, 2003

First of all, i would like to congratulate all sisters and brothers who fought really hard for our rights and bringing in the recognition of same sex marriage. As far as we all know, same sex couples are capbale of long lasting and loving relationships. I have no doubt about same sex relationship because i am one of the couples who are looking forward to have our marriage registered in Alberta.

I would like all brothers and sisters of same-gender, who are sharing the same thoughts and vision of what it is to be legally married and recognized by the Canadian law, to continue the fight for rights in Alberta. It is a big shame that we are denied our rights and it is a shame that the big boys out there refused to obey the rulings even though it is a battle that they most unlikely to win.

I don't see the reason why the government is wasting money of the tax payers, time and energy all these while over our privacy and rights, whereas they should be more precise and more professional to concentrate on more important issues like the health care, teacher's future, environmental issues and so on. The government have got no rights in our bedroom ... however, to our dismay, some ppl just have no integrity! It just shows that they don't know what they are doing. By forbidding our marriage, it is not doing anyone good...i always think that Canada is a place of tolerance and diversity, having ppl who have no sense of integrity just shows how much Canada has to improve. Anyway, the law of Canada is all for one and one for all, it is really inappropriate to invoke the notwithstanding clause as we all know that the majority ppl have the support for same sex and the courts in B.C, Ontario and Quebec have agreed to same sex marriage.

Once again, great victory and God bless all brothers and sisters of same-sex.

Ivann

We will continue to work for equal marriage until equal marriage for same-sex couples is a reality for all Canadians. We encourage our supporters to assist same-sex couples in Alberta achieve full equality.


June 12, 2003

Dear Kevin and Joe:

How happy you both must be with the recent Ontario Court of Appeal Decision. This is a wonderful day in the history of Canada and for the gay movement. It has been a daunting task, as both of you can attest, however, it was worth every ounce of energy consumed, in my opinion.

You folks have been and will always be, champions for the cause and we applaud you for your persistence and resilience throughout it all. Looking forward to seeing you both in Halifax for pride. Hopefully we will get a chance to talk about all of the current days events. By then, the full impact of it all will have sunk in...

Both Ian and I send our congrats and heartfelt best wishes. Also, I am attaching a copy of a letter that I sent to the newpapers here in Atlantic Canada concerning the recent court ruling.

Take care and look forward to seeing you both soon.

Hugz,
Don Tabor, Nova Scotia
Board Member, Egale

We greatly appreciate your ongoing support and the contribution made by Egale! Halifax should be a great celebration.


June 13, 2003

Dear Kevin and Joe,

I want to congratulate you two for being the first legally married same-sex couple in Canada. I am so very happy to learn the news on 10 June 2003 (a historical Canadian or even international date indeed). The decision is overjoyed!!! Once again, thank you for all the hard work and sacrifices that you have done for all gay and lesbian Canadians. Because of you, I have a better and brighter and equal future now!!!

Sincerely,

Joseph Tse
Richmond, BC


June 13, 2003

Dear Kevin and Joe,

I would love to hug and kiss both of you for your incredible efforts in the fight for equality for all of us. Thanks to your efforts and dedication to this cause, I can now marry the love of my life, Von.... who lives in Pennsylvania, in September. We are so excited, its unbelieveable. I live in a small community in Sarnia, Ontario and I cannot wait to go to our City Hall for our Marriage Licence application.....Thank you from the bottom of my heart, both of you....

Diane Robb, Ontario

We're tremendously honoured to have this opportunity to contribute to this effort, with the many others who have been working for equality and justice.


June 13, 2003

Hello Kevin and Joe - I have been just so happy and elated since the ruling in Ontario for marriage rights! I've not stop talking of it. I wanted to congratulate you on the victory, and thank you for fighting the good fight. I must sign off - I'm too excited for it, I could write passages....

Cheers...
Jon Moore


June 14, 2003

Windsor is also issuing licences. Please post this on your site. You can contact City of Windsor for more details.

Thanks.

James Bobik


June 14, 2003

We're hoping to come [to get married], but not quite sure yet how to go about it. And how long we'd have to be in Canada to sort it out--or if it can mainly be done by post. Many thanks.

Cheers

ReverendRoberts and Michael Wallbank
London, England.

We have posted information that should assist you here.


June 14, 2003

My partner and I are 40 year old females that have traveled to Vermont, USA to obtain a "civil union" the closest thing to a marriage the US allows. We are thrilled to hear about the Canadian news and plan to be married in Toronto ASAP.

Laura and Fran Jasso
Linden, MI USA


June 14, 2003

Perhaps you could post a link to an editorial at your site under "media coverage". My local paper, the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal usually tries not to touch anything gay related. Yet, take a look at what the editorial staff wrote here, in what could easily be the most homophobic city in Canada. There is no visible gay community in Thunder Bay. This is something I never, ever would have thought I'd see from the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal.

Clint

We have posted the article on our media coverage page. Your amazement at the changes underway is shared by many here in Ontario and around the world. It is a new day, albeit one with still more work to be done. Please do all you can to encourage progress along the way.


June 15, 2003

Hello ... I am a Canadian citizen currently residing in Italy with my same sex partner. We have been together for 2 years and this decision in the Canadian courts is music to our ears. We have felt trapped between the two continents as we, a gay couple, share none of the same liberties as our heterosexual peers. Now, with the oppurtunity to be recognized legally as a couple, perhaps we can fully share our lives together and not be victim to "tourist" visas. We plan to marry in Canada and share the same rights as any Canadian who marries a foreigner. A great day.

Sincerely,

Grant and Mario


June 16, 2003

Hey guys-

I visit your website almost everyday to watch news on the furthering of rights for same-sex marriage, and it is a great website! My American fiancee and I have just started living together, and we were overjoyed to see that Ontario is now allowing same-sex marriage. We've begun planning a trip already, but one thing confuses us. When we go to print out a marriage license application, it lists the two people getting married as the "bride" and "bridegroom." Has the website simply not updated its forms yet, or does one of us have to be listed in the male form of bridegroom? I hope you can shed some light on this for us. Thankyou very much and keep up the great work.

-Shannon

Yes, you can simply cross our "bride" and "bridegroom" and use "person" instead. New forms are coming, but we didn't want to have to wait! Wishing you many happy years together and a wonderful wedding day.


June 16, 2003

My girlfriend and I have been togather for 4 years and we would like to get married in Vancouver BC. We need info on how and where? We live in Washington state. Thank you Kelly and De

Courts have only forced Ontario to follow the new marriage law. We expect BC to follow soon, as Parliament changes the law for the rest of the country. Further announcements are expected soon. Stay tuned.


June 17, 2003

Dear Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell:

On behalf of Marriage Equality New York, we want to extend our congratulations and appreciation for your role in bringing about the exciting news about same-sex marriage from the Court of Appeal for Ontario last week. We know that the two of you have been at the forefront of this movement and have devoted a great deal of your time and energy to the cause.

Until full marriage is available in all of Canada your work is far from over, but you must be feeling a huge relief and pride in a job well done.

While it may take some time, we are optimistic that having equality in marriage so close to home will be a catalyst in eventually bringing full marriage equality to us here in the U.S. as well. With hard work and perseverance, we plan to make it happen! Congratulations again and keep up the great work!

Yours in marriage equality,

Jan Thompson
Jesús Lebrón
Co-Chairs, Marriage Equality NY

We look forward to the day when we will celebrate equal marriage in New York, and eventually through-out the United States. This is a global effort and we have benefited greatly from the efforts of our friends and fellow-advocates around the world. We stand in solidarity with Marriage Equality in New York and hope our efforts in Canada will contribute to the excellent work done by your organization.


June 17, 2003

Dear Kevin and Joe, Although I don't think we have actually met, we would like to extend our sincerest CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU for your courageous and remarkable journey in helping make our marriages Legal. This afternoon Victor and I actually picked up our official Marriage Certificate from the Registry Office here in Toronto. We were married on March 22, 03 at MCC. Gentlemen, if not before, we look forward to meeting you at the service on June 29th. Thank you once again...and we are both anxious to read your book.

Yours sincerely,
Maurice van Egdom & Victor Salas Vargas

Congratulations to you on your own marriage! We look forward to joining other couples who have married at MCC Toronto in celebration at the MCC Toronto Pride service on Sunday June 29 at 11:00 a.m.


June 17, 2003

There are so many to thank for the work done on these cases that we are afraid we will miss someone, but some do stand out: All of the lawyers for the B.C. Ontario and Quebec litigants, EGALE, with special thanks to John Fisher, John you are a star. Rene and Michael in Quebec for your stubbornness, and refusal to give up, even though you had great financial difficulties. Kevin and Joe in Ontario, for you tireless advocacy for all who are down-trodden by the powerful in society. You have proven that two people can make a big difference. To all of the couples who have shared their hearts, pain and joy with each other for the past three years, we offer our thanks, love and admiration.

Lloyd/Bob

It was a great honour to work with Bob and Lloyd, and others, during our visit to Vancouver in 2002. We will not rest until couples across the country enjoy the equality and freedom now in Ontario.


June 17, 2003

On today's announcement by the PMO: Many are in your debt. Thank you for your courageous and determined expression.

With respect and appreciation,

Gary Sealey
Lambda Foundation

We greatly appreciated the invitation to join the Sappho literary tour, sponsored by the Lambda Foundation for Excellence. Lambda's support helped carry a message of equality to students, the public and the media.


June 18, 2003

That's good work there, boys! Congratulations, and thank you on behalf of humans everywhere.

Dave Nelson


June 18, 2003

Joe, Kevin,

I'm just reeling? Can it be true? What more can you ask for?

In the [United] States the religious organizations are free to recognize or not any marriage they choose. It is all about CIVIL marriage here. Even at that, adding same-sex couples to our laws does not change the fact that if you want to get married, no matter the sex of the couple, you have to find someone willing to marry you, be it clergy or public officials. So it is fine with me if your church, my church, or my neighbor's temple refuses to recognize my or my parent's marriage, just as long as I get equal treatment UNDER THE LAW.

This news is just overwhelming. I don't even feel the elation that I know will come around pretty quickly. I'm just stunned! Good stunned. But I am nowhere near tired of sending you CONGRATULATIONS! I'm really happy for you, and I'll admit there is more than a little selfishness in that. This has to have a major effect on the movement down here.

Hugs, kisses, tears of joy!

Bill Dubay

These are amazing days but it's all true for those of us in Ontario! We still have some work to do for the rest of Canada, still waiting for equal marriage. We encourage everyone to contact members of Canadian parliament to express support and encourage success when the issue finally is put to a free vot.


June 18, 2003

Congratulations to our neighbours to the North from some of your friends in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. You have accomplished in a short time what so many of us in the supposedly free United States of America have tried to accomplish for years. Your legacy may move on to the USA through our courts, and to other countries as well, since you have not placed the restrictions on just who can marry as "the other two" countries have.

For us it will be a battle in the courts won one step at a time against layer after layer of governmental hypocrisy. Many of us will go to Canada single, come back as a married couple, yet still be treated as single in so many very legal ways.

We look forward to the day when our country and others follow your lead. Our hats/ chapeaux are off to you!

Cowboys Scott Ohlman & Wild Bill Klitzkie

The events of the past week have been amazing ... the speed of change is tremendous. Thank you for your encouragement. In court, our lawyers referred to Rosa Parks, and one judge quoted Martin Luther King in his decision. We know that our victory is based, in part, on the work that went on years before us, including the work of the civil rights movement in the U.S. It would be wonderful if, in turn, the U.S. drive for LGBT rights in the U.S. is nudged forward a little bit by our work. Our rights are universal, and we stand in solidarity with you.


June 19, 2003

Hi Joe & Kevin,

I was at your book reading at Markham Public Library last night with my partner Bonnie & our daughter Cheyenne. We enjoyed it very much (Cheyenne a little less so, I think!). One of things you commented on was small, every day actions of 'activism.' For the first time, I committed one of these acts, quite possible inspired by the two of you! See attached for what I did [complaint against Toronto radio station Q107 for disparaging remark about same-sex parents], it was quite the startling juxtaposition to the evening before!

Thank you for the opportunity to meet you, I wish you ever success in the future.

Beatrice Volino

Congratulations on taking a step to change things. Complaints that are not handled appropriately by broadcasters should be directed to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Canada's Radio Regulations state that a licensee shall not broadcast "any abusive comment that, when taken in context, tends to or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability;" (see example case)


June 19, 2003

Je n'ai pas encore terminé la lecture de votre livre "Gays, gays, marions-nous!" et je suis enchanté! Je vous avoue que le mariage gay ne me rejoignait pas beaucoup comme projet de vie. Mais votre livre m'a fait beaucoup réfléchir et j'ai compris davantage le sens de cet engagement pour vous deux et pour d'autres gais et lesbiennes qui désirent ainsi s'unir dans l'amour avec la bénédiction de Dieu et de la communauté ...

Aussi, je rédige une chronique littéraire pour le magazine RG (distribué à la communauté gaie du Québec, 50,000 copies) et vous pouvez visiter ma page à www.rgmag.com, cliquez sur l'icône "Livres". Je parlerai de votre livre lors de la prochaine édition du magazine. De même, je suis responsable de la littérature pour le site Le Marginal (www.lemarginal.com) et il est certain que je ferai une place importante à votre livre. Il y aura un lien avec votre site, si cela vous convient ....

Encore une fois, félicitations et merci pour ce témoignage si important pour la communauté et la société!

Je vous envoie mes sincères amitiés,

Richard Chartier
Laval, Québec


June 20, 2003

Hi Firstly, may I congratulate Canada on the amazing civil rights progress made over the last few years, hopefully if Europe pushes, and the politicians are willing, within the next year or so the UK will catch up with you My name is Mark Gavin (UK national), my partners name is Steven (Canadian national). We have been together in a bi-national relationship since January 2000, and have lived together in the UK since May 2000, going through extensive and expensive UK based same sex immigration law to remain together.

I have been watching with growing interest over the last few years the steps taken in Canada towards full equality - and now - I will take Steven up on his proposal of marriage made on Christmas Day 2000. We are currently exploring the option of marrying in Toronto, as Steven is Ontarian and this would be a link through to his own roots. Once the UK has caught up, we will have a ceremony over here. Until then - well, I would be proud to be Married in such a wonderful place as Canada.

All the very best to you and yours.

Mark Gavin

Cheshire, United Kingdom


June 20, 2003

To whom it may concern,

I wish to report the steps that I have taken to advocate our rights as same sex couples. I wrote many e-mails [example here] to you and you can view what I have done and said: I strongly believe that we all have to give all our efforts to obtain our rights as a Gay Society.

I never have been very political before, until an MP named Betty Hinton who wanted to oppose our Rights ruffled my feathers, and I decide to take action on my own and contacted her, the Prime Minister, The honorable Andy Scott and out gay Society in Vancouver and Canada Gay Pride. I feel that we all have to voice our opinion and be as diplomatic as possible to achieve our goals in gaining our rights as a Gay Society. I am letting you know what I have done on my own to help our cause.

Yours truly,

Lorraine Germaine Lessard

Thank you for adding your voice to the call for justice and equality. Your action reminds us that letters of appreciation are just as important as letters of protest.


June 21, 2003

Dear Kevin and Joe:

Ccongratulations on the legal recognitions of your years old marriage! Your wedding anniversary [January 14, 2001] should go down in history as Marriage Equality Day. I hope you are really proud now of having played such an important role for so many people in Canada and beyond. Good luck with keeping your government on the straight-and-narrow of full equality.

Kees Waaldijk, Netherlands


June 23, 2003

Dear Joe and Kevin,

Have you seen the June 13-18 edition of Gay City News, the New York City gay paper? Anyway, there is a picture of you two smooching. On a related matter, the state in these here United States where Americans married in Canada will challenge the system may just be Michigan. The areas in the New England states near the Canadian border are sparsely populated and conservative. Detroit is just across a river from Windsor and has a vibrant and organized gay community. Keep an eye on MI.

Marianne Seggerman
Connecticut

P.S. Nice to see that Love Makes a Family and you are linked - we had a meeting on June 11th and the room was ebullient from the news from the north.

We missed the June 13 edition, but thanks to you we noted the coverage in the next edition. We're so glad to see that work in Canada has has a positive impact in the U.S. We will indeed track events in Michigan and hope that somewhere soon, we will see a victory for the U.S.


June 23, 2003

Now that the marriage definition has changed and same-sex marriages are recognized, does this mean that it carries with it all the legal impications of marriage as well (income tax filing, banking, debt responsibilities, property ownership etc.)? Does it also mean that companies must recognize us as legally married and extend all rights and benefits to same sex spouses? Can we also legally adopt children of the other spouse as in the case of heterosexual marriage?

Maybe an brief overview of just what has changed for us would be a good idea. Sometimes a sober second look at all the rights and responsibilites would dispel some of the romantic and naive ideas some of us have of marriage. I guess because I've gone through a very eye opening divorce I would hate others to have to go through the same because they weren't aware of all the implications of marriage.

So while we celebrate let us also be aware and responsible.

Peter Hovestadt
Oshawa, ON

Same-sex couples who choose to get married now have all the rights and obligations of spouses under the law. The anwer to all of your questions is "yes", and the advice to be aware and responsible is always good!


June 23, 2003

Hi Kevin & Joe: On behalf of London Pride 2003, I would like to officially invite you to be the Grand Marshals for our Parade, Sunday, July 13th.

I want to thank you for all you have done and are doing to advance gay rights in Canada.....and to wish you continued success. I will be waiting for your reply.

Best wishes,

Bill Worrall
Seminars/Workshops/London Pride 2003

We are honoured to accept this invitation and return to London, Ontario, to conduct some workshops and serve as Grand Marshals in the parade. Thank you!


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