For those of you that may not have this on your radar, it is not yet legal across the U.S. for same-sex couples to marry. Massachusetts allows marriage for same-sex couples that reside there, and there have been licenses granted in several cities, including San Francisco and New Paltz, NY. Also, Vermont has civil unions for couples, which grant some, but not all marriage benefits. However, none of those marriages/legal unions are recognized in other states (including North Carolina, where we live), and in the aforementioned cities, there will be legal challenges ahead to the validity of those marriages. SO, Kate and I decided to wed in Canada. British Columbia and Ontario are the provinces that have legalized same-sex marriages. Our marriage is recognized as legal in countries around the world that have taken this progressive position (e.g., the Netherlands, Denmark) .
About 29,978 same-sex couples have married in the United States, Canada and Europe (according to Human Rights Campaign Foundation, 2004)...oops...now 29,979! The vast majority of licenses have been granted in Toronto (almost 15,000). Kate and I are more of a rarity since there have only been about 1400 same-sex marriages in B.C so far.
These pages describe our trip to lovely Vancouver to tie the knot. If you want to read more about marrying in B.C., here's the site to go to.
The last bit of business before going on to describe our joyful trip, is to remind you that the sitting president is in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) which, if ratified, would make it impossible for our marriage to ever be recognized in our homeland. Please VOTE to stop this by not re-electing this man in November, or any representatives/senators that share his views on this matter. You can learn more about the issues related to same-sex marriage by going to these sites: Millions for Marriage, Freedom to Marry. These organizations are just two of many working hard to make marriage a reality for the countless couples in the U.S. that just want what straight couples often take for granted.
Pam and Kate
P.S. We wrote Senator Elizabeth Dole and the White House about our opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment and received these responses (note how the form letter from Dole addressed us as "Catharine and Pamela Spaulding" -- what an irony!). Dole | Bush
P.P.S. 10/21/2004: We've heard that the B&B is no longer open (nor is another gay-friendly B&B with a wedding package, the Counting Sheep Inn), so we may have been the last wedding held at the Apricot Cat and Black Dog B&B.
P.P.P.S 2/7/2005: I just received an email from a Canadian lesbian photographer, who visited this wedding site. She and her wife were one of the couples who took Canada's federal government to court in order to marry. She wanted folks to know about the web site the litigants maintain -- www.queermarriage.com.
Day One - June 30 - Travel Day
We left in the early AM, flying America West from Durham to Phoenix and then to Vancouver. We got in around 1:30 PM PST, after a long heinous first flight with squealing, screaming, out of control kids torturing us the whole flight. I thought Kate was going to explode, lol. It was one of those cases where the parents were obviously children too.
We were now starving, after 13 hours on the plane and no food, with the exception of some mini-Snickers. Fortunately, one of the best Chinese restaurants, Hon's Wun Tun House, was nearby on Keefer St.
We had dessert at a place downtown on Denman Street called True Confections, and there were some heavenly choices there -- cheesecake and tiramisu (and 3-berry pie) are recommended. Good thing we were walking it off for several hours.