External link to our listing with Speakers' Spotlight

See events from:


Attend a vigil in Fredericton, N.B., on Friday Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. in response to attack on same-sex marriage supporter MP Andy Scott.




Equal Marriage rally planned  at the Federal Liberal leadership convention, Friday, November 14 (SELECT for details)








Same-sex marriage forum at Mcmaster University on November 3 at 7 p.m.



Counter-demonstration for same-sex marriage in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Oct. 18 at noon



Equality Forum press conference with Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell, Oct. 16 at 3:00 p.m. in Philadelphia



External link to Gill Foundation  OutGiving 2003 conference information



Same-sex couple denied the right to enter the United States as a  family





Liberals for Layton - Dennis Mills betrays Liberal values by not supporting same-sex marriage.





Witness Our Welcome 2003:  Join us  for a workshop  based on our book  JUST MARRIED,  in Philadelphia on August 16, 2021


Book signing at the
Conference Resouce Centre
Aug. 15 at 3:00 p.m.





Rally in support of equal marriage in Calgary, Alberta on Aug. 10 at 2 p.m.



Guest speakers:

Daniela Kirst
Stephen Lock (EGALE)
Keith Purdy (marriage advocate)




Montreal - March for equal marriage on August 3, 2021





Our report from Saint John's first pride parade.


Mahogany Manor




External link to Halifax Pride





Our report from London Pride 2003


Accommodations provided by Park Lane Hotel, London.


Link to order Just Married online.




Link to our donations page for EQUAL MARRIAGE PRIDE


All donations will be acknowledged with byinclusion in our online acccounting, and a personal note with our appreciation.

Thanks to:

Susan Bowen
John Crisp
Ronald Cumber
Gaiety Magazine
Jonathan Moore
James K
John Thompson
Joanna Valius
Bruce E. Walker Law Office

We'd love to thank you too!


Link to report on our march for marriage at Toronto's pride parade.



External link to Moncton Pride



Moncton Pride Parade
June 21, 2021

Starting at 1:00pm
from 50 Mechanic Street,
across Moncton City Hall
655 Main Street



External link to Pride York Region





Join us for a discussion about same-sex marriage at the Centenary United Church in Hamilton (24 Main St. West) on June 12 from 7 to 10 pm

Link to order Just Married online.





The fight for equal marriage - Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell meet with the Fraternity in Toronto on March 10, 2003.  External link to the Fraternity






External link to Spinlaw's Borders and Boundaries conference web site.






Perspectives on same-sex marriage - join us for a free discussion on Mar 7 from 7 to 10 p.m.






Click here to get code to  insert this graphic in your web site - help spread the word!





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.




“For us,” says Bourassa, “the Anglican Church is a very powerful and potent place for us to be, because of its recent decision to examine the issue of same-sex marriage further before going forward to bless those unions."
Capital Xtra, Jan. 17, 2003



Join us as we legalize same-sex marriage.  Subscribe to our free newsletter



Send this page to a friend!


Advocacy Events

Advocacy: Events in 2003

Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell are available for speaking engagements customized to the needs of audiences and organizations. Arrangements and bookings are managed by:

Speakers' Spotlight
179 John Street, Suite 201
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 1X4
Voice: 416-345-1559 | Fax: 416-345-9589
email: info@speakers.ca

For other enquiries please contact us.

November 28, 2003

Vigil planned in response to attack on MP

A vigil is planned to take place on Friday, November 28, beginning at 7 p.m., in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The vigil is taking place in response to the attack on member of parliament Andy Scott. The accused assailant was on a crusade against same-sex marriage. Defenders of equality and civil rights are asked to gather at the Justice Building on Queen Street in Fredericton for five minutes of silence, followed by speakers.


November 14, 2003

Equal marriage rally at Liberal convention

Toronto, Ontario: Equality Now, a coalition of community, labour and student activists, is planning a rally at the Federal Liberal leadership convention in defense of same-sex marriage. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the southwest corner of Church and Wellesley in the heart of the gay village. Supporters will gather and then march to the Air Canada Centre at 40 Bay Street (York Street entrance) where a rally begins at 7:30 p.m.


November 3 and 5, 2003

Lectures at George Brown College

Toronto, Ontario: We will be delivering lectures to nursing students at George Brown College.

November 3, 2003

Same-sex marriage forum at McMaster U

Hamilton, Ontario: McMaster University's Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Centre will be hosting a same-sex marriage forum beginning at 7:00 p.m. The evening will consist of 5 panel presentations and a chance for the audience to ask questions and an open discussion. The event takes place at McMaster University, Room Togo Salmon Hall 120. For further info contact glbt@msu.mcmaster.ca

October 18, 2003

Counter-demonstration for equal marriage

Fredericton, New Brunswick: Anti-gay religious extremists are planning a rally against same-sex marriage at the provincial legislature beginning at noon. In response, advocates for justice and equality plan to be present to counter the voices of intolerance. Please join equal marriage supporters at the Tim's, King and Regent, at 11:15 a.m. or at the legislature at noon. Contact SarahRose for further info.

October 16, 2003

Equality Forum Press Conference

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Equality Forum, host of an annual GLBT symposium and festival, has invited us to appear at a press conference in Philadelphia on October 16, at 3:00 p.m. to discuss plans for 2004. Equality Forum focuses on regional, national and international organizations and their issues.

Press Release

September 18-21, 2003

OutGiving 2003 - Gill Foundation

Braselton, Georgia - We are thrilled to be participating as panelists in the Gill Foundation's OutGiving 2003 conference scheduled from Septmeber 18 to 21.

Challenging Par: What Makes a Family in the 21st Century

Explore the historic moment we have come to in the LGBT civil rights movement with this panel as it explores the legal status of same-sex partnerships and what is needed to achieve the full marriage equality that is within our reach. Same-sex couples have now begun marrying in Canada, promising cases are underway in the U.S., and the recent Supreme Court ruling gives us an additional powerful tool for ending the "gay exception" that excludes us from legal equality here at home. States and politicians continue to move in the direction of civil marriage equality, some by supporting "all but marriage" steps, while robust discussion and polls show continuing growth in support for gay people's freedom to marry. As in any civil rights movement, there will also be continuing resistance, opposition, and hesitation... and the need to bring more resources and allies into our struggle for victory.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Evan Wolfson and will include domestic partners B. Koebke and Kendall French and their Lambda Legal counsel, Jon Davidson, as panelists. B. and Kendall are currently appealing a court decision that denies them equal access to a golf membership at a San Diego country club.

August 19, 2003

Liberals For Layton - News Media Announcement

Same-sex marriage activists and disgruntled Liberal voters have launched Liberals For Layton. The group will make a news media announcement on Tuesday, calling for the immediate resignation of Toronto-Danforth Member of Parliament Dennis Mills for his failure to protect the rights of the many gays and lesbians in his riding. Further actions are planned against other Liberal M.P.s.

Tuesday, August 19, 2021
170 Danforth Avenue, Toronto

August 16, 2003

Witness Our Welcome 2003

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Witness our Welcome is an ecumenical gathering of sexually and gender inclusive Christians from Canada and the United States. There will be two opportunities to attend a workshop we will be conducting on Saturday, August 16, based on our book Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights. Join us as we explore the legal, personal, social, and spiritual aspects of our journey to full and equal marriage. Our emphasis in all these aspects will be from a faith-based perspective.

Link to learn more about our book Just Married:  Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human RightsUniversity of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
August 14 to 17, 2003
Join our workshop:
Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights
August 16, 2:00 - 3:30 PM
August 16, 3:45 - 5:15 PM
Myerson Hall B7
Registration Information

August 10, 2003

Equal Marriage Rally in Calgary, Alberta

While the Klein government has maintained they will do all that is necessary to ensure traditional marriage remains the exclusive purview of heterosexual men and women, not all Albertans are in agreement with that stance. Daniella Kirst wanted to do something to counteract the rhetoric of the Klein government, so she decided to organize a rally. This is her first foray into the realm of activism.

"Everyone should have a choice [whether to marry or not]. That is what Canada is about - freedom and choice. I can't believe Alberta continues to fight on these sorts of issues", said Kirst in a media release.

A petition in favour of equal marriage will be circulated and guest speakers will appear at the event.

August 10, 2003
Beginning at 2:00 p.m.
In front of the Premier's Southern Office - McDougall Centre
(455 - 6 St. SW)
Calgary, Alberta

August 3, 2003

Montreal March For Equal Marriage
The Elsie Wayne Pride Tour
We won't shut up and stay home

Montreal, Quebec - Join us at the Divers/Cité's Montréal Pride parade as we march for equal marriage. Last year, Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf came to the Toronto Pride parade to show their solidarity for the Ontario marriage case. This year, we will be in Montréal with the couple in support of their Quebec marriage case. Lawyer Douglas Elliott from the Ontario marriage case will join us. You can too! Contact us to participate.

Sunday, August 3, 2021
Departure at noon, from the corner of Guy and René-Lévesque.

July 25 & 26, 2003

Saint John - Parade Marshalls
The Elsie Wayne Pride Tour
We won't shut up and stay home

Saint John, New Brunswick, is hosting their first Pride parade this year. We are grateful for another opportunity to return to this city, as parade marshalls. We found an energized community six months ago, and many are even more so following the recent comments by the hometown Member of Parliament, Elsie Wayne.

Friday, July 25: Panel discussion on GLBTQ issues with moderator Sharon Flatt and special guests: Michelle, Kevin Bourassa, Joe Varnell, and others at Spy Bar, Dorchester Street, Saint John.

Saturday, July 26, 2:00 pm
Parade beginning in Queen's Square, Saint John

Thank you to Daniel Jardine, and the Port City Rainbow Pride team for this invitation.Thanks to Carl Trickey and Jim Crooks, Mahogany Manor,
Saint John, New Brunswick, for the generous provision of transportation and accommodation

July 19, 2003

Halifax Pride - Grand Marshalls
The Elsie Wayne Pride Tour
We won't shut up and stay home

Halifax, Nova Scotia - We are grateful to have received an invitation to be Grand Marshalls in this year's Halifax Pride parade on Saturday July 19. We will share this honour with Nicky and Sue Perkins, one of the first three couples to register their domestic partnership in Nova Scotia (along with Kim Vance and her partner Sam and Ross Boutilier and his partner Brian Mombourquette). The parade begins at 1:30 p.m. Our thanks to Kara Redden & Raymond Taavel, co-chairs Halifax Pride 2003.

Report from Halifax 2003

July 12-13, 2003

London Pride - Grand Marshals
The Elsie Wayne Pride Tour
We won't shut up and stay home

We met with wonderful people, and controversy, when we attended last year's London Pride as grand marshals, just two days after the historic Ontario court victory. This year, we are thrilled to return to continue our advocacy of same-sex marriage. Join us for some speaking engagements produced by London Pride Events Inc.: free with admission to the Western Fair Grounds (a $5 donation is requested at the entrance to the gounds). Then on Sunday, we return, once again, to proudly serve as Grand Marshals for the parade. Thanks to Bill Worrall, Kathleen Holland, and London Pride 2003.

July 12
4:00 - 4:45 pm
Western Fair
Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights
From our book: an overview of the personal, social, political, legal & spiritual aspects of our journey.
July 13
10:00 - 10:45 am
Western Fair
The Legal Arguments For and Against Gay Marriage
We will discuss the positions presented in court and review the judicial responses.
July 13
12:30 pm

London Pride Parade Grand Marshals

June 29, 2003

Pride Toronto Marriage March
The Elsie Wayne Pride Tour
We won't shut up and stay home

MCC Toronto Pride Day Service:

External link to the Metropolitan Community Church of TorontoJoin a celebration of the marriage victory with an annual Pride Day service on Church Street. The celebratory service will start at 11: a.m. on the south stage, across from Maple Leaf Gardens. Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes will lead a Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto service with special guests in attendance.


We were planning to return with an entry in the Toronto Pride parade representing Equal Marriage For Same-Sex Couples, thanks to the generous assistance of supporters (see list at left). But our world has been changing almost every day, as events quickly unfold in the flurry of activity following the Ontario appeal decision. We recieved a call and email from organizers of the Toronto parade:

On behalf of everyone at Pride Toronto, we’d like to congratulate you on this momentous achievement. This is a day that has been too long in coming, and now, thanks to your efforts, the day is here.

We’re inviting our newlywed couples, along with the members of the legal community who have helped reach this milestone, to walk or ride in the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 29th with this year’s Grand Marshal, John Fisher of EGALE. We have arranged several cars and drivers for those who’d like to participate, and would be proud and honoured to have you as part of our celebration.

Petra Willis and Ed MacNeil
Parade Coordinators

We're honoured to accept and thrilled that the Parade Coordinators will bring everyone together. Please meet us at the corner of Church and Bloor streets by 1:00 p.m. There will be volunteers around to give directions.

We thank our supporters. Funds already raised will go towards last year's parade float deficit.

June 21, 2003

Moncton Pride Honours Same-sex Couples

The Moncton Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Committee is honored to announce that Yvonne & Diane Zoryi will be our "Parade Marshals" in our fourth annual gay pride parade. Yvonne & Diane, a couple for 32 years from Italy Cross, Nova Scotia was very excited and honored to be asked to head up this year's parade. The couple will be celebrating their 33rd anniversary on November 25, 2003.

The Moncton, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Committee, in a year of great publicity surrounding same-sex marriage is very much looking forward to having Yvonne & Diane with them. This is a clear and concrete indication of the longevity of same sex couples right across the country. The couple was located as a result of a contest promoted by Moncton Pride, and sponsored by Triangles Bar, Rainbow Gift Shop, and Auberge Au Bois Dormant Inn.

For more information please contact the Moncton Pride Committee's PR Dept. at (506) 863-1888 or by email to pr@monctonrainbowalliance.com.

June 18, 2003

Reading Just Married at Markham Library
The Elsie Wayne Pride Tour
We won't shut up and stay home

We will be reading from our book Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights at the Markham Community Library on Wednesday, June 18, 2021 beginning at 7 p.m. The reading will include a Q & A session. The evening is free and produced by Pride York Region (Donations to Pride York Region are encouraged).

Markham Community Library, Lunau Room
6031 Highway 7, Markham, Ontario (905-513-7977)
Southeast corner of Highways 7 and 48

June 12, 2003

The Battle for Same-Sex Marriage
The Elsie Wayne Pride Tour
We won't shut up and stay home

Hamilton, Ontario - Join us for a free, public panel discussion about same-sex marriage. The evening is produced by Hamilton Pride Festival Inc. and hosted at the Centenary United Church. We will be sharing our reasons for embracing marriage with others who hold a variety of opinions. Other participants include Douglas Elliott, lead counsel for the legal team (McGowan Elliott & Kim) representing the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto in the marriage case.

Centenary United Church - Left side entrance
24 Main Street West (corner McNab Street)
June 12, 2003 - 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

March 10, 2003

The Fraternity Presents
The fight for equal marriage

Toronto - The Fraternity, a networking organization for gay business professionals, has invited us to speak about the fight for equal marriage (filling in for Industry Minister Allan Rock). The evening is open to the public: all are welcome.

Monday, March 10, 2021 - 6 to 9 p.m.
The Courtyard Marriott Hotel - Toronto
475 Yonge Street (north of College)
$25 Member | $35 Nonmember | $20 Student
Buffet included
No preregistration required, however please email jonathans@thefraternity.ca (without obligation) to help the organizers plan seating and catering needs.

March 8, 2003

Spinlaw presents Borders and Boundaries

We will be speaking about same-sex marriage at Spinlaw's conference, Borders and Boundaries, in Toronto. We will be discussing our book, Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights, and our experience at the centre of the legal challenge to end marriage discrimination. In particular, we will discuss the ongoing marriage hearing that is being conducted by parliament's Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights.

Plenary Session
Rooms 308/309 - Toronto Metro Hall
March 8, 2021 - 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

The 3rd annual public interest law symposium is hosted by students of the University of Toronto Law School and Osgoode Hall Law School. Please join us at this affordable event ($5.00).

March 7, 2003

Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage

Toronto - Join us for a free, public panel discussion about same-sex marriage. The evening is hosted by Affirm United and the Affirming Congregation Network. We will be sharing our reasons for embracing marriage with same-sex couples who oppose marriage as an option for gays and lesbians. The United Church recently endorsed equal marriage at the Parliamentary hearings - Richard Chambers (national United Church of Canada staff) will discuss the church's position.

Trinity St. Paul's United Church - Fireside Room
427 Bloor Street West (At Robert St., near Spadina subway)
March 7, 2003 - 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

February 14, 2003

Valentine's Day - Free to Marry

Couples have answered the call for action on Valentine's Day. First our friends in Toronto, then New Brunswick was the first to respond to our internet posting. We've learned that couples in Moncton and Fredericton are preparing to exercise their right to marriage. Supporters have stepped forward, with more to come. As this action becomes local for each community, the media are telling the stories of our lives, in local voices with local resonance.

Read more about this demand for justice

February 10 - 14, 2003

Just Married - Wilde About Sappho
The Lambda Foundation For Excellence

"It looks like the hot topic at this year's Wilde About Sappho literary event will be same-sex marriage. And the highlight of the event may be the presentation at St John the Evangelist Anglican Church on Elgin St, where Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell will read from their book, Just Married."
Capital Xtra, Jan. 17, 2003

Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights will be featured at Wilde About Sappho literary events in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. The events are sponsored by the Lambda Foundation For Excellence, a non-profit organization working "to build bridges across Canadian communities by promoting the achievements and culture of gay and lesbian people."

We are honoured to be among the authors selected for the 12th annual event. Our thanks to Stephanie Gowan (Doubleday) and Gary Sealey (The Lambda Foundation).

The foundation funds annual scholarships for gay and lesbian studies through events like these, so please show your support.

Montreal - Feb. 10, 2003 - 4 p.m.
McGill University
Tudor Hall at Ogilvy's, Fifth Floor
1307 St. Catherine West
$5 admission
Ottawa - Feb. 11, 2003 - noon
Ottawa Public Library
(Metcalfe and Laurier)
Donation requested
Ottawa - Feb. 11, 2003 - 4 p.m.
University of Ottawa
Tabaret Hall - Chapel Rm 112l
Donation requested
Ottawa - Feb. 12, 2003 - 4 p.m.
Carleton University
#2017 Dunton Tower
Donation requested
Ottawa - Feb. 12, 2003 - 7:30 pm
St. John Evangelist Anglican Church
Moderator: Hon. Rev. David MacDonald
$5 admission
Toronto - Feb. 14, 2003 - 6:00 pm
Toronto Reference Library
(Yonge, north of Bloor)
Donation requested

Further details

Thanks to the Inn on Somerset (Ottawa) for gracious accommodation

Special thanks to Lambda's friends and volunteers including
Gord Ellis, our ambassador in Ottawa.

See events from:

Mail Link to our media coverage of related issues.