Photo by Kevin Bourassa, 2001
Our friends Carolyn Swadron and Bill Wrigley (Toronto)

"If we ever needed reassurance that y0u were serious (we didn't) it was hearing you live, on the radio, in the studio yet, at 7:45 a.m.! Now that's commitment."
Bill and Carolyn
Dec. 11, 2000





Photo by Kevin Bourassa, 2001
Charmaine Peever
Witness for Kevin Bourassa

"This is an incredible undertaking and it is so amazing to us that we are part of history in the making."
Charmaine Peever
Dec. 14, 2000



Photo by Kevin Bourassa, 2001

"I feel very strongly that all people regardless of race, privilage and sexuality be treated fairly, respectfully and equally. I am proud to raise my children with the same values and beliefs."
- Angela Genereaux, sister of Kevin Bourassa, in a letter to her Member of Parliament, February 12, 2001



Gerry Bourassa hugging Joe Varnell (Photo be Cecile Chapelain, 2001)
Gerry Bourassa (Kevin's father) hugging Joe as he arrived home from the wedding.



Read more about Just Married



"You have reached as far as Seattle and Florida ... You know it is mind boggling when you think of the people that this can affect. Not just gays or lesbians but anyone that is considered a minority ... anyone that does not conform to the 'norm'."
Wendy Aandeweil, sister and sister-in-law to Kevin and Joe
Jan 8, 2001


Kevin and Joe (hugging Rev. Hawkes) at home after the marriage ceremony.  (Photo by Cecile Chapelain, 2001)
Kevin, Brent hugging Joe at home after the marriage ceremony.


Our Wedding Cake (Photo by Cecile Chapelain, 2001)



Kevin Bourassa with Ken Tong (Photo by Carolyn Swadron for, 2001)
Kevin Bourassa with Ken Tong, friend and supporter (web site design, photography for Just Married)



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On January 14, 2001 we were joined in holy (and legal) matrimony, in a double ceremony with our friends Anne and Elaine Vautour. This was accomplished by using the Christian tradition of reading the banns of marriage (incorporated into Ontario law) during three regular worship services, prior to the marriage, at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto.

Below you will find a comparisom of responses to our wedding invitation, a timeline of events, and some quotations from the press coverage. Thanks to all who are making a positive contribution to public dialogue!

Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell

SLECT to read "A study in contrasts:  The Prime Minister & the Governor General"

SELECT to read a timeline of events leading up to our marriage and our road to full equality/

Rev. Brent Hawkes, Elaine and Anne Vautour (Photo by MCC Toronto. 2001)"Homosexuals are equal members of society; entitled to the same rights as anyone else. Why, then, should they be denied the right to marry?"
The Globe and Mail, December 6, 2000

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Rev. Brent Hawkes, Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell (Photo by MCC Toronto, 2001)"Every society needs groundbreakers to challenge its norms and attitudes. The suffragettes and early labour activists did it a century ago. Their feminist granddaughters followed in their footsteps, along with black activists, anti-poverty activists, gay rights activists and disabled activists."
Toronto Star, December 7, 2000 (Lead editorial)

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"... word of the impending ceremonies has spread"
New York Times, December 28, 2000

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"The marriages ... are shaping up as the city's biggest celebration of matrimony in recent memory."
The National Post, January 13, 2001

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"Neither is wearing white ...

'I don't know what I'm wearing as a tie until that morning,' he [Kevin] jokes.

'I choose according to my mood.'

Varnell chuckles, 'Do we have a tie that says panic-stricken?"
The Toronto Sun, January 14, 2001

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"The men, both dressed in black suits, and the women, wearing black pants and white shirts, received thunderous applause and repeated ovations from the audience."
Canadian Press, January 15, 2001

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Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell (Photo by MCC Toronto, 2001)"This was not like any wedding before it. The presiding reverend wore a bullet-proof vest. ... it brought a community to life. It brought people in church to their feet, gays, lesbians, heterosexuals, with applause, and tears in a ceremony gripping with emotion ... There were standing ovations all over the place. If you looked around the church there were all kinds of same-sex couples watching what was before theJoe Varnell, Rev. Brent Hawkes, Kevin Bourassa (Photo by MCC Toronto, 2001)m, knowing the political relevance of the event, knowing that a step was taken that may change their lives forever ..."The time for acceptance was yesterday. This is 2001. The first shots have been fired. A court challenge won't be far behind. Yesterday was a victory. The fight for acceptance is far from over."
The Toronto Sun, Columnist Steve Simmons, January 15, 2001

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"Media outlets ranging from Newsweek to The New York Times and Ms. to Mother Jones had representatives among the 80 reporters and photographers who covered yesterday's wedding between two gay couples in Toronto. There were media representatives from as far as Virginia, New Mexico, California and even Japan."
The Toronto Sun, January 15, 2001

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"I feel a sense of relief, but not release," said [Kevin] Bourassa. "This one step is complete. There are further steps. We're still under the shadow of a government that is prepared to deny our human rights. That's not a cause for celebration."
The Toronto Star (Front Page Story), January 15, 2001

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"... their decision to marry has brought them into the centre of a political and legal storm."
The Toronto Star, January 15, 2001

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"There is a growing sense of inevitability about this, a feeling that sooner or later, one way or another, Canada will join such countries as the Netherlands in recognizing same-sex marriages. And anyone interested in social stability should welcome them into the fold."
The National Post, Columnist Donna Laframboise, January 15, 2001

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"We wish Bourassa and Varnell and the Vautours well. We salute their courage and commitment. It is not easy to be legal pioneers."
The Toronto Star, Editorial, January 16, 2001

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Anne and Elaine Vautour (Photo by MCC Toronto, 2002)"The legalization of gay marriage is inevitable. Everything that has happened over the past decade points to it. Homosexuals have won the right to be protected from discrimination, to adopt and raise children and to receive the same spousal benefits as heterosexuals. It is only a matter of time before they win the right to marry, too."
The Globe and Mail, Editorial, January 16, 2001

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"This is not a demand for tolerance but for equality. Equality is a huge leap for a society to make from simple tolerance."
The National Post, Editorial, January 16, 2001

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"If homosexual couples wish to make this profound and positive commitment, they should be allowed to do so. Who, indeed, has the moral right to say no?"
The Kitchener Waterloo Record, Editorial, January 16, 2001

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"There was a time when society thought it was just fine to deny women the right to vote. And there was a time when slavery was accepted and Joe placing the ring on Kevin's finger (Photo by MCC Toronto, 2001)segregation was the norm and we didn't want anyone who wasn't like us living on our block. There are hundreds of examples, throughout history, of rampant discrimination turned around. Isn't that, in a different way, what began to happen Sunday afternoon in Toronto? It was the beginning of a movement that has so very far to go. It was the beginning of the stripping away of another accepted wrong."
The Toronto Sun, columnist Steve Simmons, January 16, 2001

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"For religious fundamentalists, the marriage of two homosexual couples Sunday in Toronto may signal the end of the world as we know it ... heterosexuals will continue to fall in love, marry and have children even if gays are - gasp - permitted to tie the knot."
The Edmonton Sun, columnist Mindelle Jacobs, January 16, 2001

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"Saying marriage is a privilege reserved for those who are lucky enough to be heterosexual is akin to saying it's reserved for whites only. It's unfair to bar an entire group of people from an institution because of something they cannot change."
The Toronto Sun, columnist Linda Williamson, January 18, 2001

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"It's been interesting - since the marriages ... to watch the reaction. Some people can hardly contain their disgust. Much, one supposes, as folks did when confronted years ago with photos of black children walking up the stairs of white schools in Little Rock."
The Toronto Star, columnist Jim Coyle, January 18, 2001

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"To describe the Jan. 14 nuptials of two gay couples as a media frenzy would be the understatement of the year."

"Photographs of the wedding were featured in just about every dailyThe Media - Photo by MCC Toronto, 2001 newspaper across Canada and throughout the US and overseas. In Toronto, three of the four dailies highlighted the event on their front pages ... many newspapers added editorials about the gay wedding to their news coverage."
Fab, columnist Rob Wilson, January 18, 2001

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"Homosexuality is. Simple as that. And those who are gay and lesbian don't deserve to be discriminated against just because they choose a same sex partner. What are us straights so afraid of?"
The Winnipeg Sun, columnist Laurie Mustard, January 21, 2001

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Additional news coverage about the weddings

Gaiety magazine celebration of marriage registration

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