Til death do us part

By way of a loophole in Ontario marriage law, two gay couples, Kevin Bourassa and Joseph Varnell, and Anne and Elaine Vautour, were married in Toronto's Metropolitan Community Church by Rev. Brent Hawkes. This marriage marks the first legal gay coupling anywhere since the Middle Ages.

Ontario law still respects an old religious tradition of publishing banns on three consecutive Sunday's to announce the intentions of a couple-to-be. Should no one object, a marriage may be performed. Though the law includes a number of qualifications, nothing at all is mentioned about gender. Voila, a loophole.

Despite this, Bob Runciman, Ontario's Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, has stated that he will challenge the marriages in court, a move that the newlyweds have openly stated they are prepared for. The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto has already announced that a collection has been taken up and earmarked for the legal expenses of upholding these two marriages.

An Angus-Reid poll from earlier this year states that the percentage of Canadians who favour legal recognition of same-sex marriages is about even with those who do not. It is this division which has allowed politicians to sit idle, trying to decide what side to support

Though the legal wranglings threaten to persist for years to come, these couples should be commended for exploiting this little loophole and taking the questions surrounding same-sex marriages out of the realm of public opinion and making them a question of rights.

The precedent set in Ontario deserves an outpouring of support. Perhaps, in spite of our provincial government's protestations, we'll finally see more same-sex marriages and the extension of a basic human right to every member of our society, gay or otherwise.

This province approves loveless, sham marriages everyday, but try to marry someone of your own gender, and our provincial government will take you to court. We find that unconscionable.

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