Friday, August 17, 2007



It may be known for its breathtaking views of the Minas Basin and the sheer cliffs of Blomidon, but a quiet corner of Nova Scotia has become the setting for an historic political first that some say will further affirm gay rights.

The tiny community of Cheverie on the province's western shoreline will host the wedding on Saturday of one of its most famous sons, Liberal MP Scott Brison, and his partner Maxime St. Pierre.

News of the nuptials has made headlines across the country as Brison becomes the first federal politician to tie the knot since gay marriage was legalized just over two years ago.

But many of the 200 or so residents of the blink-and-you-miss-it community of Cheverie don't understand the fuss, saying it's merely the story of a popular local boy who's come home to marry his longtime love.

"Everybody knows Scott, so it's just another wedding, I guess," said Paul, an employee at Cheverie's autobody shop who would only give his first name.

"People are talking, but I don't think it bothers anybody. It's not the 1800s anymore."

Brison's wedding comes just weeks after George Smitherman, Ontario's first openly gay cabinet minister, wed his partner Christopher Peloso at a lodge near Sudbury, Ont.

Deputy Premier George Smitherman and his partner Christopher Peloso made it official, exchanging vows yesterday before about 200 family members and well-wishers at Laurentian Lodge, a rustic and idyllic resort north of this small former mining community.

The 40-minute ceremony was conducted by Ojibway spiritual advisor Ron Indian-Mandamin, who referred to the ancient concept of gay or "two-spirited people" who in generations past often served as tribes' mystics or medicine men.

"Truth is the most powerful of all things. We need to show that this is a beautiful thing. The blood that flows through each and every one of us is the same," Indian-Mandamin said.

Barrie-area Justice of the Peace Gerry Solursh conducted the civil portion of the wedding, followed by jazz/blues singer Molly Johnson, who sang a moving rendition of her song "If You Know Love."

Smitherman, who as provincial health minister is a senior member of cabinet and often mentioned on the shortlist of future candidates for mayor of Toronto, acknowledged that such a public pronouncement of love would have political overtones.

"We haven't sought to make it political. It happens to be who I am and what I've done for almost my entire adult life so it's no surprise that it is going to have some political elements to it," Smitherman said.


cats said...

congratulations to the happy couples!

RIC said...

What a strong, great example Canada is giving!
Congratulations to the spouses!

Nancy said...

If only all of North America was so understanding and realize we are all one race the Human Race.

D-Man said...