Sunday, August 19, 2007

How does a Member of Parliament's same-sex wedding "make history?"

According to an article in the Sunday Winnipeg Free Press, Scott Brison, federal Liberal Member of Parliament, has "made history" by getting married to Maxime St. Pierre on Saturday. Well, I do realize that this is Canada and we tend to be short on "history," but just what does it take for a marriage to make history?

I doubt the fact that it was a same-sex marriage accounts for its being history making. In the province of British Columbia in 2003 (the first year of legalized same-sex marriage in Canada) there were 774 same-sex marriages out of their total of 21,981 marriages). None of these seemed to be newsworthy as "history making."

Scott isn't a movie star or even royalty. He isn't even an MP in the "new" Conservative Canadian government. He is just a lowly Liberal Opposition government member. And besides, a few weeks ago, George Smitherman, who was Ontario's first openly gay cabinet minister, married his partner Christopher Peloso without headlines. So his being a politician doesn't make it as history.

If anyone can explain to me how Scott's wedding has changed the course of history (Canada's or of any other country) more than did the first same-sex marriage or any of the subsequent ones I would be pleased to hear from them. Maybe it was just a slow news day?

After his engagement to St. Pierre was first reported by The Canadian Press in October 2005, Scott Brison reacted with this comment, "I'm looking forward to the day when the idea of a gay or lesbian politician getting married is not a story at all."

I guess Scott Brison will still have to keep looking forward to that day. It doesn't seem to have arrived yet.

My best wishes to Scott and Maxime for a happy life together. And may the public, press and politicians respect your right to the privacy you deserve in this free and democratic society.
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