Archived entries for Equal Marriage

Jon and Zack’s big gay wedding

All my friends are getting married, it seems. This week I went to my third same-sex wedding (and my second this year), between my old friend Jon and his now-husband Zack. At least my friends have great taste: they hosted their ceremony at Stonehurst, the estate of Robert Treat Paine just outside Boston. With its gorgeous landscaping and shingles as far the eye could see, the estate screamed Henry Hobson Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted (and it turns out, they DID, in fact, design it).

It was a great ceremony, with lots of good friends turning out for Jon and Zack…definitely the kind of wedding everyone wants (well, if they want a wedding!). I love them both and am incredibly happy for them, but I have to admit, the highlight was meeting one of the other guests, who grew up in Vancouver — we compared notes and Sun Run times over red wine well into the night!

A few more pics here.

Chris and Brian’s wedding

I usually dread weddings, but not my first same-sex wedding! I was thrilled for my BFF Chris and his boyfriend Brian for officially (and legally) tying the knot yesterday in Connecticut before having a fantastic party with hundreds of friends back in New York. Chris was my first new friend when I moved to New York more than four years ago, and I love him to death — so glad to see him finally hitched!

With Andy:

With Kenneth in the 212:

With Andy and Chris:

With Yosbel and Drew:

A wedding dilemma

simpsons_gay_marriageWhen you get to my age, you start getting invited to weddings left and right. This month I had one, and next month I have two. I ran into a friend on the street tonight, and we ended up commiserating about the whole affair. His take is an interesting one: He’s simply boycotting weddings until marriage for same-sex couples becomes a reality. Instead, he’s making donations in the name of each newly hitched couple to Marriage Equality, the national non-profit. I think he’s on to something.

Those weddings I have coming up? Guess what gift the couples are getting?

What do you think?

Congrats Scott and Max

scott_and_max_smallCongrats to Scott and Max, who tied the knot amid pouring rain yesterday in Nova Scotia, making Scott the first-ever Canadian Member of Parliament to marry a same-sex partner.

Frank McKenna, the former Ambassador to the U.S., was at the wedding and said, “I think everybody in the room felt like they were part of a history-making event. It seemed like a validation of a long process. I think everybody who was here was very moved by the experience.”

Scott and Max to wed next weekend

scott_maximeI have to give our BFF Scott Brison some credit. Two years ago the prominent gay Canadian politician announced he was getting engaged to his partner of six months, Maxime St. Pierre. At the time, I wrote in this very blog that “I’m not against starting a betting pool to wager how long this fairy tale engagement actually lasts.”

Well, I was wrong. Scott and his hunky boyfriend Maxime (shown here at the Calgary Stampede) — who looks remarkably like me — will finally tie the knot this coming Saturday in Nova Scotia. In doing so, he will become the first federal politician to take advantage of Canada’s recent legalization of marriage for same-sex couples.

Although my invitation to the Big Gay Wedding seems to have been lost in the mail, I wish Scott and Maxime a fabulous party. And if that invitation just happens to appear before the week is out, I’ll happily hop up to Halifax for what is sure to be the event of the summer for Ottawa insiders.
“>tie the knot this coming Saturday in Nova Scotia. In doing so, he will become the first federal politician to take advantage of Canada’s recent legalization of marriage for same-sex couples.

Although my invitation to the Big Gay Wedding seems to have been lost in the mail, I wish Scott and Maxime a fabulous party. And if that invitation just happens to appear before the week is out, I’ll happily hop up to Halifax for what is sure to be the event of the summer for Ottawa insiders.

John Waters on marriage

John Waters and I have a common bond: we were both ordained by the online Universal Life Church so we can officiate at our friends’ weddings. I’ve only done one ceremony, for my brother, but it was a blast. In a piece from a March issue of The New Yorker(which I’m only getting around to reading in July), Waters exposes his hilarious take on weddings. The short article is a must-read. From the piece:

Waters has gone on to perform thirteen ceremonies; the most recent was last summer, near his house in Provincetown. “I have only one divorce out of thirteen,” he said. “But I try not to do it too much anymore. People want me to write witty ceremonies, which I don’t do now. I let them write it. And I charge seven dollars, in cash, and report it on my tax return. They have to give me correct change.”

Waters, whose pied-a-terre has one bedroom and is decorated entirely in shades of dark green, with Venetian blinds permanently drawn, has never even lived with a partner, let alone considered legalizing any of his unions. “I always thought the privilege of being gay is that we don’t have to get married or go in the Army,” he said. “I personally have no desire to imitate a fairly corny, expensive heterosexual tradition, though I certainly know gay couples who are married who should be. I am all for it. I have always joked that the growth industries are gay divorce and tattoo removal.”

New York Pride

Yesterday I spent nearly six hours of my life waiting for the annual Pride Parade to end. Not that it’s not a good time, but my god, by hour four you’re ready to slit your wrists, and there are still a couple hours to go! This year’s parade was dominated by gay-friendly religious organizations; in fact, the first hour of the parade was solely churches. The AP has a good recap of the event, and also of San Francisco’s parade, at which First Lady-wannabe Elizabeth Edwards said, ”I don’t know why someone else’s marriage has anything to do with me. I’m completely comfortable with gay marriage.”

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Gays line up to marry

The Calgary Sun reports today that with the looming prospect of Stephen Harper being elected Canada’s new prime minister on Monday, gay men and lesbians are lining up to get hitched before his government comes to power and potentially tries to halt same-sex unions. (Harper has repeatedly said it’s not one of his top five priorities, and even if he found some way to curb such unions, he said those already performed would be grandfathered in.)

“People I never thought would marry in a million years are calling and saying they want to get married,” said Rita Leonard, co-owner of Pride Bride. “We’re getting a lot of people asking about it. People are scared and concerned and are looking for advice.”

Marriage crusade ramps up work…

…but its online explanation doesn’t work.

The group Vote Marriage Canada, which bills itself as “Working to elect a pro-traditional marriage Parliament to protect our children’s future,” is busy at work endorsing candidates for the Jan. 23 federal election who do not support marriage for same-sex couples and who will work to undo last summer’s legalization in Canada.

The organization’s web site explains the gravity of the situation: “The very future of Canada, the future we will pass on to our children, grandchildren and generations to come, depends in large measure on protecting and preserving traditional marriage.”

But the best part is…drum roll please… “Legalizing same-sex marriage will undermine our families. Click here for analysis of why this will happen.” The link to “click here” does not work. Is that metaphor or what?

2005 Hall of Fame and and Shame

None of these people really qualify for a Hall of Shame. It’s more like a Hall of Embarrassment, or Hall of Painful Obviousness, instead. In no particular order:

2005_shame

Christy Clark, for living in the ‘burbs while running for mayor of Vancouver and thinking she could get away with it. Called an opportunist, public backlash of her residency skirting ensued and so when she eventually she bought a place in the city, no one really believed her spokesman when he said, “she wanted to move into Vancouver no matter what.” In the end, it didn’t matter, because she lost.

Beverly Desjarlais, a member of parliament from northern Manitoba, was repaid by her Liberal Party constituents for her stance against same-sex marriage when they did not renominate her for the January 23 federal election. She has been forced to run as an independent.

Michael Ignatieff, for trying to run for federal office in Canada while living in Boston, repeatedly claiming he was a resident of Toronto, all the while telling the Harvard Crimson that if he loses the race, he wants to be back in Boston. And of course, I add him to this year’s Hall of Embarrassment for misspelling “Ottawa” in numerous places in his online curriculum vitae. The egregious error has since been corrected.

Ralph Klein, the chain-smoking premier of Alberta and former mayor of Calgary, for so relentlessly battling the encroachment of same-sex marriage into Texas North. Still, I give him credit for throwing his hands up in the air in June and declaring, “There are no legal weapons. There’s nothing left in the arsenal…We’re out on a lurch.”

Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada, for being so uncouth when talking to the man who eventually wrote his biography. If you didn’t hate him when he ran the country, you do now. One columnist called the book a “tale of anger, betrayal and braggadocio so loud and lewd that ‘unguarded’ and ‘confession’ are an understatement.”

In some cases, my Hall of Fame might be better termed the Hall of People Pissing Others Off and Not Really Giving a Damn:

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Gerald Tremblay, the dorky and sometimes flamboyant mayor of Montreal, for breaking royal protocol and giving Princess Margriet of the Netherlands a peck on the cheek when she visited the city in May. “I don’t know if she was amused, but I can tell you Her Highness was not upset,” her handlers told the press.

Scott Brison, the openly gay Cabinet minister from Nova Scotia, not for being an openly gay politician, but for so willingly admitting to the press that he is engaged to his boyfriend of only SIX MONTHS. But never mind. Scott, we still love you, and we look forward to invitation to the wedding, and the divorce proceedings.

Frank McKenna, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. and former premier of New Brunswick, for telling the press mere days into his appointment that “the United States is a wonderful creation.” However, “the government of the United States is in large measure dysfunctional.” So much for being diplomatic.

Peter Jennings, for helping import dozens of Canadian journalists to the U.S. all the while infuriating those who believe Canadian reporters shouldn’t be delivering news about America to Americans. An ABC colleague told me, “In a television world that too often focuses on celebrity and tabloid tales and seems to prize the anchorman who yells the loudest, Peter refused to play along. He fought aggressively to keep international news on his newscast. He believed Americans needed to know what is going on in the world beyond their borders.”

Andre Boisclair, the openly gay and formerly drug-using leader of the Parti Quebecois, for giving me something to write about that appeals to American gay men otherwise uninterested in anything related to Canadian politics. A friend or two of his also deserve credit for feeding me gossip about him — which, I might add, I have not posted on the Internet.

Paul Martin tops gay list

paul_martin_1229Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has been named the 2006 person of the year by the news site 365gay.com. He may have been the federal leader when the legalization of marriage for same-sex couples happened earlier this year, but many people will argue that he did not do enough to push the argument for marriage sooner and more vocally than he did. But never mind! Here is the site’s tribute:

“Martin could have buried the marriage bill, even though it had the support of two smaller parties – the New Democrats and the separatist Bloc Quebecois. He acknowledges there was a lot of pressure on him to do that, and that he had concerns about preserving ‘traditional marriage’. What led to his epiphany isn’t known. But he quickly picked up the gauntlet and pressed forward.”

“It cost him a cabinet minister and an MP who quit the party. In the end, though, the measure passed the Commons 158 to 133, went on to pass in the Senate and in July Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.”

David and Elton tie the knot

The Toronto Star has a fun piece on local boy David Furnish, who actually looks unusually cute in this shot with his new hubby. “From the dull outskirts of Toronto to the flamboyant ruffles of international high society, Furnish has met his match,” the paper says.

david_elton

Gay rights supporters far outspent opponents in Maine

The successful campaign by the group Maine Won’t Discriminate to fight a repeal of the state’s new equal rights law cost 1.1 million, or nearly three times what was spent by those trying to roll back the law protecting residents from anti-gay discrimination.

Rethinking same-sex marriage

harper_tacklesOn day one of the national election campaign, Conservative leader Stephen Harper vowed toreopen the debate on same-sex marriage, or as theToronto Star so cleverly puts it in this headline, “Harper tackles same-sex.” He said he will challenge the redefinition of marriage if he become prime minister after the January 23 election, attempting to overturn the summer ruling that paved the way for marriage equality.

Belinda Stronach, the fabulously wealthy MP who left the Conservatives for the Liberals last year, said of Harper’s comments: “I think it’s just plain wrong. How can one class of citizen be more equal than another? Honestly, I think voters have moved past this issue. Parliament already dealt with that.”

MP will fight for gay marriage ban in Canada

It will be an uphill, if not impossible battle, but Member of Parliament Pat O’Brien has formed a group in Canada to repeal the nation’s recent same-sex marriage legalization. He is a former Liberal who quit his party last summer after he could not support the legislation his party proposed and eventually passed. “This issue’s not over in the minds of millions of Canadians,” he said.

O’Brien plans to raise money to help support candidates who oppose marriage for same-sex couples; a federal reelection campaign could begin Monday following a vote of no-confidence in the Liberal government. He has allied himself with former Alberta MP Grant Hill, who left Ottawa and “has returned to practising medicine, making news recently when he reiterated his belief that homosexuals spread disease.”

The leader of the Conservative Party, Stephen Harper, has said he wants to put the matter to a free vote if he becomes prime minister in the next election. A reversal on marriage would require the government to invoke the controversial notwithstanding clause, which has never been used by the federal government. The provision, which has no parallel in the U.S., allows the government to override portions of the country’s bill of rights for up to five years.

Look ma, New York noticed us

Was anyone else as shocked as I was that the New York TimesVows” column, typically reserved for the upper-crust of New York society not only featured a (gasp!) Boston couple this weekend but (get the paper bag out) a gay one. I know. I’m still hyperventilating. John Finley IV and Stan McGee were married last weekend in Chestnut Hill by Sen. Jarret Barrios.

vows_1120

“My parents were far more upset that Stan was a Hilary Clinton-supporting Democrat than they were about us,” Finley told the paper. “I remember them asking Stan a lot of ‘coming out’ type questions: ‘Maybe you didn’t have a good Republican experience? Have you told your parents how you feel?'”

A Canadian challenge to Israel’s marriage laws

gay_israelis_torontoTwo gay Israeli men, married in Toronto after Canada’s during Gay Pride in 2003, are making history in their native country as they seek legal recognition of their union.

“Toronto was our favourite place. Beautiful, clean, quiet, peaceful and very, very tolerant,” Yaron Lahav, an El Al flight attendant, told the Star. “So when we learned it was possible to be married there, we aligned our work schedules to go as soon as we could. Two weeks later, we flew to Toronto and ran to city hall find out what to do.”

The paper explains that “Marriage in Israel is no easy task even for straight couples, let alone gay, due to religious laws that deny permission for almost all but the most Orthodox Jewish weddings.” However, a decades-old court ruling has forced the country to recognize marriages performed outside of Israel, with no questions asked. Lahav and his husband, Sefi Bar-Lev, believe that law is the key to their suit.

“The rule in Israel is that any marriage certificate issued abroad must be recognized by the Israeli clerk and the couple must be registered,” the couple’s lawyer says. “Our argument is that any registrar who refuses this obligation is the one breaking the law by contravening their basic right to equality.”

Quotable

Michael Heath, head of the Christian Civic League of Maine: “I am taking this opportunity to warn all the people of Maine about the true nature of the ‘homosexual rights movement’… they will use coercion and intimidation to achieve their ends… the homosexual rights movement is a danger to society.”

Pastor Sandy Williams, another steadfast opponent of Maine’s new equal rights law: “If Maine won’t discriminate, Maine will degenerate…there is no end to the sexual disorientation and lunacy we will see.”

Politician could lose seat over gay marriage vote

desjabThe only Canadian member of parliament in the left-leaning New Democratic Party to vote against legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada has failed to win her party’s nomination for the next federal election.

Bev Desjarlais, who represents northern Manitoba in Ottawa and has done so since 1997, says there’s no question that her stand against same-sex marriage cost her the nomination. She plans to still run for her seat, but will do so as an independent.

She was edged out of the NDP nomination by Niki Ashton, the 24-year-old daughter of provincial cabinet minister.

Squeamish pundit says he’ll go to a gay wedding

BRISON SAME SEX MARRIAGEPundit Charles Adler says he doesn’t oppose gay marriage, but he does say that displays of gay affection “get this middle-aged Eastern European heart of mine to ask,’Do we really need to see this?'”

“The truth is we do need to see it,” he writes in theWinnipeg Free Press. “It’s easy taking intellectually defensible positions on a variety of issues. Once the consequences of those positions are in one’s face, one can squirm, cough, gag, or channel-surf. One is forced to confront reality.”

His latest column focuses on Scott Brison, the Canadian cabinet minister who is openly gay and who just days ago announced he is engaged. He says, “Scott, I will dance at your wedding if you choose to invite me.” What a challenge! My guess is that an invitation will find its way to Adler’s doorstep as soon as a date is set.

Adler writes, “Marriage is not a right, it’s an institution that is at the heart of family life. It’s about children, etc. But at some point in my life I chose to accept
the fact that Liberal cabinet minister Scott Brison puts on his pants the same
way I do. Why is it any of my business what stimulates his passions? That’s
private. And so, when he says that he is marrying a man and it is a private
matter, I think one ought to respect that, and not ask the hand of government
to mug him.”

“But what happens if Brison, or another gay person invites you to his wedding?
What do you do? My guess is most people reading the Winnipeg Free Press today have never been invited to a gay wedding and aren’t excited about the
possibilities. But if you are willing to say Yes to gay marriage, at some
point, do you not have to just suck up your discomfort and participate.”



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