OCTOBER 13, 2001
Welcome to our wedding site!
What was originally designed as a specific resource for guests of our 2001 commitment ceremony quickly grew into a universal reference, particularly as same-sex marriage was increasingly legalized around the world. Although same-sex wedding advice is now abundant on the Web we have decided to leave our site online partly because it is such an indepth record of this wonderful event for ourselves, partly because its focus on incorporating traditional wedding rituals into modern same-sex ceremonies remains very relevant and partly because it is an archival record of a gay seeking to legitimize their relationship in the absence of state-sanctioned same-sex marriages. We just ask for your indulgence as the decade-old programming of these pages doesn't always hold up well in modern browsers!
2004 Postscript: Looking Back
So was it all worth it? After the excitement of the ceremony faded and life returned to daily routine, has our relationship ended up being any different in the long run?
Absolutely. In reviewing our assumptions about the benefit of a wedding in the Same-Sex Ceremonies introduction, we're happy to say we were dead on. It's hard to describe just how permanently and profoundly the ceremony has affected our relationship. Almost immediately our love for each other was transformed from a passive attraction into an active commitment. It really did elevate our lives and relationship to a new level of maturity - we continually try to live up to the responsibility of caring our partner, as we vowed to do that special day. And there is such a great sense of inner peace and quiet joy from knowing that in return that partner will be at our side for the rest of our life.
In addition, there has been a tremendous sense of inclusion that resulted from holding that ceremony. Every time we hear that a friend is recently engaged or we notice a couple registering for gifts at a department store or we see a bride and groom on the steps of a church, all those wonderful memories of our special day come flooding back instantly. Before the ceremony we believed it was the right thing to do. Now that we've done it, that belief has evolved into an absolute conviction. Any devoted couple that chooses not to have a wedding is missing out on one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.
Legalizing our Marriage
The truth is, we're in no big rush to get a marriage licence. As we state elsewhere in this site, the overwhelming reason for our ceremony was to express our commitment publicly. We wanted to make it clear to each other as well as to our friends and families that this relationship was for life. Our ceremony achieved that goal in spades. Because Ontario's common-law policies already provide many of the same benefits of marriage, the only significant advantage that a licence would provide us would be the simplicity of dividing property should we divorce. And we obviously have no interest in planning for that scenario!
We will likely obtain a licence eventually, but not just because our province allows us to. We intend to wait until the federal government enshrines same-sex marriage as the law of the land.
As for what kind of legislation we're hoping for, we're actually leaning towards a civic union concept. Our thoughts on the topic have changed somewhat since the wedding as we have subsequently (re-)joined the Roman Catholic Church upon discovering that Brandon had been baptised Catholic! (Never in a million years would either of us have predicted we'd end up attending church regularly and becoming good friends with our parish priest!). We have also heard the first legitimate defence of marriage as a heterosexual institution in a sermon by our Archbishop. Or perhaps, we see the same old defence in a whole new light now that we have taken on a lifetime commitment of our own. Witnessing the emphasis that the Church places on raising children in a stable, loving and moral environment and the result that this approach has had on our own lives, we have come to respect its view. We can see that if marriage came to be considered only as a commitment to a partner instead of a commitment to a future family, it could easily deprive parents of the special recognition - and therefore incentive - that they deserve for the work and sacrifice they put towards bettering society. The only problem we have with the Church's argument is its inconsistency. If that's how they're going to define marriage then it must include all couples intending to raise a family in the aforementioned environment. It also must exclude all couples who do not specifically intend to use marriage as a basis for raising a family.
Therefore the solution seems to be a simple one, in our view. Marriage (and its social benefits) should be the exclusive domain of the church while domestic partnership (and its legal benefits) must belong the state. That way, the different faiths can continue to be as inclusive or as discriminatory as they wish, while all couples regardless of faith, race or sexual orientation will always be guaranteed fair and equal treatment by their government. Let's see what Prime Minister Martin comes up with . . .
2005 Postscript: Legalizing the Union
We're officially married! We made it legit on the fourth anniversary of our "wedding": October 13, 2005.
As we said in the previous update, we waited until the federal government enshrined the right for all gay Canadians. And we also made sure it was clear to everyone that this was simply a legalization ceremony because we still consider our original wedding to be the true beginning of our marriage.
In order to deliberately keep things low key, we only invited immediate family and chose the most basic of all wedding venues: city hall. Besides reviewing the text of the ceremony in advance, we didn't do much to prepare for this ceremony other than book the room, pay the fee and show up on time. In fact, Peter even worked until noon that day!
Having reviewed the wording we figured we knew everything that would happen at the 15-minute ceremony. However, we were once again unprepared for the effect of the ritual. Our officiant's off-the-cuff, heartfelt remarks yanked us out of our complacency and made us realize the significance of the legal marriage. In the eyes of the law we were now a distinct identity and, much more important, officially recognized as a family. The celebrant's genuine love of his duties was clearly evident through his beaming smile and sparkling eyes. In fact, he almost seemed envious of our commitment to each other. Like the original wedding, seeing the situation through other people's eyes really made us feel like pioneers.
Our nuptials were made that much more special by the fact that Toronto's city hall is such a landmark and that we were the only couple - of any orientation - to be married in city hall on that day! Normally the wedding chamber is closed to wedding ceremonies on Thursdays and most couples just pick another date. But since we wanted the ceremony to fall on our anniversary, we paid the extra fee for having an officiant do an "outside" wedding then requested that we be allowed to hold it inside City Hall. The staff agreed and in our own little way we made "history" that day.
was followed by dinner at one of our favourite restaurants - very
generously paid for by Peter's parents. We decided to top off the
clichéd wedding with a stereotypical "honeymoon": Niagara Falls.
Even that was extremely informal as we brought Brandon's sister along
for the trip! (Geesh, talk about a close family!)
Page last updated October 06, 2013