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Home - Introduction

Equal marriage for same-sex couples
equalmarriage.ca | samesexmarriage.ca

They had received tremendous support, information and knowledge from friends, family and supporters who were on an email list with them throughout the process of the banns and their wedding. They just decided to enlarge the concept. Kevin said, "After all it's all about advocacy."
The Voice, August 2002



The issue of full and equal marriage for gays and lesbians has been at the forefront of discussion in Canada, particularly in the last few years. Our marriage, in a double ceremony with our friends Anne and Elaine Vautour, at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, on January 14, 2001, was front-page news across the country, and was reported around the world. It was the beginning of the end of marriage discrimination in Canada.
Photo by Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto
Joe Varnell, Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, and Kevin Bourassa
MCC Toronto
January 14, 2001

Although we had a government record of marriage, the Ontario registrar refused to register our marriage. At first, the Canadian federal and provincial governments found it acceptable to discriminate against its homosexual citizens. They were encouraged in their prejudice by faith groups who said that the sanctity of marriage would be violated if we were included (an argument used when racist laws prevented inter-racial marriages).

This web site was established in 2001, as MCC Toronto (with a legal team led by Douglas Elliott) went to Ontario court, in a case joined with couples who were seeking access to civil marriage, to obtain a court order forcing the government to recognize our marriage.

Our first victory came on July 12, 2002, and the second, definitive, victory arrived on June 10, 2003 when the Court of Appeal for Ontario ordered the registration of our marriage, and opened marriage for all couples, effective that day. We are grateful that the Canadian Government, and the Ontario Government agreed to accept the June 10, 2003 decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Our marriage was registered by Ontario the next day.

2003 Year in Review

2002 Year in Review

equalmarriage.ca & samesexmarriage.ca thanks:
REKO LLP
,
Bruce E. Walker Law Office
, and
Never Say No Comment
for ongoing advice.

Our wedding day thanks

Thanks to everyone involved in the creation of
public service announcements.
And to those who broadcast them.

Contact Us

We respect the right of various faiths to hold their own beliefs. But we ask faiths to not impose their beliefs on us or on our Canadian politicians. Citizens everywhere must speak out against religious leaders who use their beliefs to turn their faithful against others. Stop the use of religion to promote hatred. End spiritual abuse.

Our goal is to ensure that couples have the equal right to marry if they choose, not to advocate that all couples get married. We recognize that many people will choose not to formalize relationships through civil or religious marriage.

This site documents our personal journey towards the legal recognition of our rights. We are privileged to have worked with so many motivated people, from across Canada and around the world. We hope this web site introduces you to their efforts and stories as well.

For equality,

Kevin Bourassa & Joe Varnell

Toronto

This site is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Content may include inaccuracies or typographical errors. You are responsible for any reliance on such content. Changes are periodically made to the information herein. Nothing herein should be construed as providing legal advice of any kind.


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