Saturday, July 01, 2006

A very special Canada Day :)


Congratulations on your marriage, Jason & David! I hear that it was a beautiful ceremony and I couldn't be prouder to know that it happened in Canada. [photo courtesy of thechronicleherald.ca]

Jason Tree and David Connors are RCMP Constables. They tied the knot today--replete in their red serge uniforms--in a very private ceremony in Yarmouth, NS. One of their guests, Ken Spragg, had this to say about the marriage:
This is long overdue. I got to see them take the vows that other people have taken for granted for so long and so many don’t understand what it means to have that opportunity...The fact that they can do now what everyone else can do is really gratifying. It’s great to see...This is one more step to being treated like everybody else.
Well said, Mr. Spragg. And Congratulations to everyone who fought for equal marriage. We can't forget how truly special this is. If you know someone who needs reminding, direct them to last week's "Fearless in Canada" TorStar piece by David Graham:
As Toronto Pride Week reaches its culmination with today's Pride Parade, one could easily forget that in many parts of the world, it is extremely dangerous to be gay.
In some cases, it's not just the state that harasses and sometimes executes homosexuals, but the intolerant citizenry as well. So, for some foreign-born celebrants and their loved ones, Pride Week's theme of "fearless in 2006" strikes a particularly resonant chord.
Because it arguably sets the gold standard for gay rights around the world, Canada is the new home of choice for many homosexuals fleeing repressive countries. Only a few other nations (Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain) can match our record of legalizing gay marriage and adoptions by gay and lesbian couples, or our strong anti-discrimination laws.
"I think Canada is a beacon of hope for a lot of refugee claimants," says immigration lawyer and gay community activist Michael Battista, who has represented many gays and lesbians seeking refugee status.
"We are known internationally for having one of the fairest refugee determination systems, where a person can actually go face to face with a decision maker and try to persuade that decision maker on the basis of their claim. Where (lesbian, gay, bi and transgendered) asylum seekers are concerned, Canada does have a remarkable reputation.
"I've asked many claimants why they chose Canada, and they tell me, `I first started thinking about it when I heard about the marriage case. I thought this is a country that will respect who I am.'"
Happy Canada Day!!


{ Mountie Moose courtesy of Wendy at kidsturncentral.com }

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