Couple: Tess H. & Wendy Y.
Married At: British Columbia, Canada
Date Married: August 30th, 2003
Where They Live: British Columbia, Canada
Our Wedding Story:
Wendy and I have been together seven years new. We had a beautiful commitment ceremony in 2000, some of my family from England and some of hers from Northern Michigan traveled all the way to Northern British Columbia to share the day. We had over 100 people in the back garden of our home.
We had been asked if we would be part of the legal case that Eagle (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) was planning to launch, and we had survived our last interview and been accepted as one of the litigant couples the night before our commitment ceremony. They told us it would be a long hard battle, that we may face attacks and discrimination (so what else is new, we thought).they promised to support us and train us.
And they did, We embarked on the case, not because we were even sure we wanted to get married but damn it all- we did want the right to say no and have the no mean something, or if we did want to, to have the yes be possible. As we worked with the lawyers and the other 7 couples, we learned so much and began to want, really want the right to marry. Is this what happened for so many of us we end up not wanting it because we knew we couldn't?
We lost the first round, but three years later (not seven or ten!) we won the case, three provinces in Canada now have legal marriage for same sex couples - and we have been to four same sex weddings just up here in the far north and invitations to 3 more on the bulletin board??!! Our province is so new our marriage certificate says bride and groom still.
You know what's really funny? In our small community of 80,000 when we went down to get our marriage license, as soon as it became possible - we weren't the first. We laughed - isn't this why we did it? Some couple somewhere is idyllically happy and we had a small part in that.
If it's not too presumptuous, we think we had a small part in what is happening globally now. In our small red necked religiously bigoted community way up here we were able to stand up proud and say this is our choice to make, not society's or some religion we don't subscribe to.
We were married on August 30th 2003. We were Grand Marshals for our Pride Parade, leading the way in an orange Volkswagon convertible. The parade finished in Fort George Park and our wedding ceremony was p the kick off for Pride festivities.
We wanted to do this in order to share the fruits (pardon the pun) of the struggle. Our community had supported us so much, this was a small gesture of thankfulness and gratitude. We had wedding cake for 250 people. When we kissed all the crowd and noise and media faded away.
This was always about choosing, whether you believe in a unique and separate gay culture in which marriage has no part, or want the entire picket fence deal - is irrelevant, what matters is being able to choose, freely and thoughtfully. If you reject marriage as a a prehistoric and useless proposition, then even you benefit form this, because now your rejection is yours, not pre-empted by the state.
But may you be so lucky to have a soul mate that you want to stand up with, in front of loved ones, your community and the society as a whole, and have your union be held as sacred and as valuable as anyone else's and may you undertake that journey in health and safety.