There was a time when I viewed getting married as a way of thumbing my proverbial nose at our president, lawmakers, so-called “concerned citizens” and everyone else who believes marriage is a right reserved only for select couples. While writing our wedding vows, I struggled to keep these feelings in check as I penned the words a minister eventually used to marry me and my partner before our friends and family, all that is good in the universe, and the Government of Canada.
Standing on the lawn of the Spadina House that warm, sunny afternoon last fall, politics had become the furthest thing from my mind. But it wasn’t until today that I realized just how much my feelings had changed on the subject. There was a short passage in the coverage of the California same-sex marriage rush in today’s edition of the New York Times that literally put a lump in my throat:
In San Francisco, 165 same-sex couples had appointments at City Hall to marry on Tuesday, working their way through an orderly maze of administrative officials handing out licenses. Children, parents, friends and wedding photographers were all on hand for ceremonies, as a string quartet played in the City Hall rotunda and cheers periodically erupted from one of 19 marriage stations arranged throughout the building.
Ariel Owens, 30, and Joseph Barham, 27, stood at Ceremony Location A about 9 a.m. Mr. Barham’s hands shook as Mr. Owens placed a ring on his finger. Moments later, they were pronounced “spouses for life.”
“I don’t know if it is a political statement,” said Mr. Barham, who works in human resources and lives in Richmond, Calif., across the bay. “I’m just marrying the man I love.”
And that is the sole reason I went to Toronto last September — to marry the person I love. Why on earth anyone (or a government) would be fearful of that is simply beyond me.
Congratulations, Ariel and Joseph.