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Gay couple married after ruling (Toronto, Canada) ^ | June 10, 2003 | TRACEY TYLER AND TRACY HUFFMAN

Posted on 06/11/2003 5:25:36 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP

Jun. 11, 2003. 06:25 AM
Michael Stark, left, and Michael Lashner pop champagne and kiss after their wedding ceremony yesterday. Leshner called the ruling, "Day One for millions of gays and lesbians around the world."
Waiting to wed (June 10)  
Quebec court victory (Sept. 6)  
Court ruling favours same-sex marriage (July 13)  
Voices: Recognizing gay marriage  
Full text of the court's decision (14MB .pdf file)  
Arguments in favour of same-sex marriage  
Arguments against same-sex marriage  
The Web site of two of the plantiffs  
Gay couple married after ruling
Couple celebrates end of 20-year fight
Judges rewrite definition of marriage


Two gay men said "I do" yesterday, after Ontario's highest court said "they can."

Crown Attorney Michael Leshner and his long-time partner Michael Stark were married by Mr. Justice John Hamilton in a hastily arranged ceremony in the jury waiting room of a Toronto courthouse, as a crowd that included everyone from judges to janitors looked on.

Just hours before, the Ontario Court of Appeal rewrote the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, saying denying gays and lesbians the ability to marry offends their dignity, discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and violates their equality rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A unanimous three-judge panel, made up of Chief Justice Roy McMurtry and justices James MacPherson and Eileen Gillese, then took the issue further than any other court in the world.

Gay and lesbian marriage became legal in Ontario, effective immediately.

"Michael Leshner, will you please repeat after me," said Hamilton, as he began the short, civil ceremony. "I do solemnly declare that I do not know of any lawful impediment why I may not be joined in matrimony to Michael Clifford Stark."

Both men repeated the declaration before pledging their vows.

"I Michael, take you Michael, to be my lawful wedded spouse," said Leshner. "To have and to hold, from this day forward, whatever circumstances or experiences life may hold for us."

Hamilton, an Ontario Superior Court judge, asked both men to place rings on each other's fingers, then made it official.

"By the power vested in me by the Marriage Act, I pronounce you Michael, and you Michael — affectionately known as `the Michaels' — to be lawfully wedded spouses."

"You are now married," said Hamilton, who later said it was "an honour" to perform the ceremony.

Leshner, 55, and Stark, 45, kissed and popped champagne.

Speaking to reporters, Leshner said he regards the court's judgment as, "Day One for millions of gays and lesbians around the world" and the culmination of a personal 20-year battle to end "legally sanctioned homophobia."

"I wanted to put a stake through that sucker," he said.

His 90-year-old mother, Ethel, who beamed and sang in her wheelchair, drew her satisfaction on a smaller scale.

"I feel wonderful, if he does. And I'm sure he does — take a look at his face," she said.

"I can't `rah, rah, rah.' I'm not the type of person to do that," she said. "I'm just happy my son is happy — I know he's getting a nice guy."

While Leshner and Stark are believed to be the first gay couple to wed after same-sex marriage became legal yesterday, they may not be the first gay Ontario couple to be legally married. That distinction appears to fall to two same-sex couples who were married in a double ceremony at Toronto's Metropolitan CommunityChurch in January, 2001.

The appeal court ordered the province to register marriage certificates issued to those couples, Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell and Elaine and Anne Vautour. The judges also ordered the clerk of the City of Toronto to issue marriage licences to Leshner and Stark and six other couples whose licence applications were held in abeyance pending a ruling by the courts. The province and the city told the judges during a hearing in April that they would abide by whatever the appeal court decided.

Less clear is where the federal government stands.

Justice Minister Martin Cauchon told reporters yesterday he believes MPs should have a say in the debate about same-sex marriage, but the government also sees where courts across the country are heading on the issue.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal and a Quebec Superior Court judge have also ruled the common law definition of marriage violates the Charter's equality provisions, but didn't go as far as Ontario in immediately extending marriage to same-sex couples, preferring instead to give Parliament until July, 2004 to change the law.

The Ontario Court of Appeal said there's no need to wait: Changing the definition of marriage, effective immediately, won't create any public harm.

Federal justice department spokesperson Dorette Pollard said the government has until Sept. 9 to decide whether to seek leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In the meantime, the government does not have the option of seeking a court injunction to stop same-sex marriages from taking place, she said.

If a further appeal to the Supreme Court is in the cards, it could return to the Court of Appeal to ask for a stay of yesterday's ruling, effectively putting it in suspension, Pollard said.

She was unable to say how that would affect same-sex marriages that have already taken place.

Opponents of same-sex marriage, however, had no difficulty expressing an opinion on yesterday's decision.

By reformulating the definition of marriage, the appeal court ignored "centuries of precedent" and rendered "ordinary Canadians' views irrelevant," said Derek Rogusky, a vice-president of Focus on the Family, whose interests were represented by The Association for Marriage and the Family in Ontario, an intervenor in the case.

In its decision yesterday, written not by one judge in particular but collectively as "the court," the appeal panel changed the definition of marriage from being "the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman," to "the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others."

A person's sense of dignity and self worth can only be enhanced by the recognition that society gives to marriage and denying people in same-sex relationships access to that most basic of institutions violates their dignity, the court said.

"The ability to marry, and to thereby participate in this fundamental societal institution, is something that most Canadians take for granted. Same-sex couples do not; they are denied access to this institution simply on the basis of their sexual orientation."

Preventing same-sex couples from marrying perpetuates the view that they are not capable of forming loving and lasting relationships and not worthy of the same respect and recognition as heterosexual couples, the court added.

It was ruling on an appeal from an Ontario Divisional Court decision last year. The Divisional Court said the common law definition of marriage as an exclusively heterosexual union was unconstitutional, but decided 2-1 to leave it up to Parliament to rewrite the law by July, 2004.

The dissenting judge in that case, Mr. Justice Harry LaForme, who would have changed the definition immediately, attended yesterday's ceremony.

In its 60-page decision yesterday, the judges systematically disposed of Ottawa's arguments for preserving marriage as a heterosexual domain, saying they were filled with irrelevancies, stereotypes and "circular reasoning."

The government argued that marriage has always been understood as a special kind of monogamous institution that brings the sexes together for the purposes of procreating, raising children and companionship.

That isn't something that lawmakers dreamed up; it predates the law, the government said.

Who invented the concept of marriage doesn't matter, the court said; What does is how gays and lesbians fare under a legal regime that excludes them from the institution.

The government was avoiding the main issue by arguing that marriage "just is" heterosexual and benefits society as a whole, the court said.

"The couples are not seeking to abolish the institution of marriage," wrote the judges. "They are seeking access to it."

With files from Mary Gordon

TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: canada; gays; homosexualagenda; ick; marriage; omg; toronto; yuck
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To: cherry_bomb88; breakem
I guess next animals will be able to wed and have the same benefits as traditional married couples.

Re #29-30:

Can you believe it ??:

Dogs marry in Connecticut

DERBY, Conn. - Call it puppy love.

Two dogs - Tatiana Anjelica and Tyson Beckford Spak - exchanged vows and slobbery kisses Sunday on the Derby Green. The bride even wore a little garter, slipped over her paw.

The bridegroom wore a top hat and tuxedo.

Excerpted. Click link for full article.
Excerpted - click for full article ^


41 posted on 06/11/2003 8:00:37 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !:
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To: B Knotts
Psychiatric Association Debates Lifting Pedophilia Taboo

Whoa ! (The second link)

Thanks for the links.


( - In a step critics charge could result in decriminalizing sexual contact between adults and children, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently sponsored a symposium in which participants discussed the removal of pedophilia from an upcoming edition of the psychiatric manual of mental disorders.

Psychiatrists attending an annual APA convention May 19 in San Francisco proposed removing several long-recognized categories of mental illness - including pedophilia, exhibitionism, fetishism, transvestism, voyeurism and sadomasochism - from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

42 posted on 06/11/2003 8:31:34 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !:
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To: MeeknMing
I wish the new (old) couple the best.
43 posted on 06/11/2003 8:35:08 AM PDT by Qwerty
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To: cherry_bomb88
Thanks for clarifying that Cherry_bomb88!
44 posted on 06/11/2003 8:43:47 AM PDT by IvanT
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To: cherry_bomb88
45 posted on 06/11/2003 8:56:00 AM PDT by tame (If I must be the victim of a criminal, please let it be Catwoman! Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!)
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To: lindsay
l just looked at a poll in the Toronto newspaper The National Post, 80% of Canadians are against this change in law.

it wasn't in the newspaper, it was a non-scientific poll on their website. are you trying to be deceptive or are you just dim?

the AP story reports: "opinion polls indicate a slight majority of Canadians favor legalizing same-sex marriages"

46 posted on 06/11/2003 9:22:12 AM PDT by jethropalerobber
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To: MeeknMing are too much, meekie!
47 posted on 06/11/2003 10:39:03 AM PDT by cherry_bomb88 (Are you on the right side of the wrong issue or the wrong side of the right issue?)
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To: MeeknMing
after pet cemetaries, could marraiges be far behind?
48 posted on 06/11/2003 10:47:23 AM PDT by breakem
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To: SkyPilot
49 posted on 06/11/2003 10:47:42 AM PDT by breakem
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To: cherry_bomb88
50 posted on 06/11/2003 10:56:39 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !:
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To: MeeknMing
Genesis 19

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

"My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning."

"No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square."

But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom-both young and old-surrounded the house.

They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

"Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here-sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."

So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"

But Lot said to them, "No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it-it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."

He said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why the town was called Zoar.) By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah-from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities-and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

51 posted on 06/11/2003 10:59:43 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: IvanT
Live and let live, they're not harming anyone.

They're harming children, adults with little to no moral sense, and themselves.

For example, they can adopt children, legally.

This practice, normalized by law, sets a horrible example for all children, not just the poor children who will be placed under their care.

Finally, they're harming themselves by engaging in unnatural and intrinsically evil acts. This physical and mental harm is ratified and normalized by law.

52 posted on 06/11/2003 11:08:50 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: Aquinasfan

More bump images HERE !

53 posted on 06/11/2003 11:19:28 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !:
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To: IvanT
Hitler's inner circle was homosexual. Rohem who broght hitler to light and was the man behind the man was a notorious homosexual. There were 10000 people arrested for violation of the nazi homosexual laws. Of those most were criminals who were caught in other acts, political adversaries, and false accusations for political gain. Hitler was a horror but his socialism tolerance words agree with the homosexual rights movement far more than any conservative movement. Remember the nazis were regressive socialist darwinians not right wing conservatives.
54 posted on 06/11/2003 11:28:46 AM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: tbpiper
An by the way, I am not homophobic, I am homodisgustive.

Rule #1: NEVER apologize for being against homosexuality and the homosexual agenda. It will look like you are trying to appease homosexuals and their sympathizers/defenders, which is something they neither need nor deserve.

Moreover, why in the name of God should we have to pay lip service to people who knowingly and willingly engage in behavior they know is abnormal, immoral, and dangerous(and if that is not enough, they are openly going after our children)?

Rule #2: There is no such thing as homophobia. Never has been. Never will be.

55 posted on 06/11/2003 11:56:33 AM PDT by Houmatt (Real conservatives don't defend kiddy porn!)
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To: IvanT
Gays have existed since the time of the Bible.

You mean like the ones who surrounded Lot's home and subsequently tried to break in for the sole purpose of having sex with Lot's son?


In fact, homosexuality is one the few sins to be specifically condemned in both the Old and New Testaments.

Take the time to actually read the Bible instead of just paying reference to it.

56 posted on 06/11/2003 12:05:41 PM PDT by Houmatt (Real conservatives don't defend kiddy porn!)
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To: Houmatt
Sorry for the lack of clarity. I was trying to illustrate that homosexuals don't elicit fear but disgust instead. Homophobia is their invention. A device to generated some badly need self worth.
57 posted on 06/11/2003 12:15:12 PM PDT by tbpiper
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To: MeeknMing
Thanks for the heads up!
58 posted on 06/11/2003 2:07:53 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: yall
For any of you legal beagles out there, here is the link to the court ruling regarding this decision:

Halpern et al. v. Attorney General of Canada et al.

I got an e-mail alert today and that was in it.

59 posted on 06/11/2003 2:48:57 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !:
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To: yall
Related article:

Canada Court Redefines Marriage to Include Gays
Tue June 10, 2003 11:38 AM ET
OTTAWA (Reuters) - An Ontario court set aside the heterosexual definition of marriage on Tuesday with immediate effect and ordered the Toronto city clerk to issue marriage licenses to several gay couples who had applied for them.

The decision was one of three decisions expected this year by appeals courts in provinces across the country, and it was not clear whether the federal government would appeal it or ask for a stay of the decision.

A decision in May by a British Columbia appeals court had given the federal government until July 2004 to change its law to include homosexual marriages, and Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said he was mulling an appeal.

But the Ontario court ruled that to wait would deny the couples their constitutional rights, and it redefined the common law definition of marriage as "the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others."

In so doing it substituted "two persons" for "one man and one woman."

The three-person court ruled that the law limiting marriage to heterosexuals violated the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms, part of the Canadian Constitution.

Toronto to Start Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses
"The common law definition of marriage is inconsistent with the Charter to the extent that it excludes same-sex couples," the court ruled.

Cauchon had asked the House of Commons justice committee to conduct hearings across the country on what should be done about the definition of marriage, and the committee is currently deliberating possible recommendations.

Committee member Vic Toews of the opposition Canadian Alliance, an opponent of gay marriage, asked Cauchon last week to launch an urgent appeal to the Supreme Court so that the lower courts do not end up preempting what he said was an issue for Parliament to decide.

60 posted on 06/11/2003 2:56:15 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !:
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