Airbase hosts 1st military gay wedding
Two men were married in the chapel at Nova Scotia's Greenwood airbase in May, in what's being called the Canadian military's first gay wedding.
Lt.-Cmdr. David Greenwood, the base's head chaplain, said a sergeant and a warrant officer were married May 3 in front of about 45 guests.
"This couple had been waiting a very long, long time," said Greenwood, declining to give their names because he hadn't asked for permission.
In September, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, effectively changing the definition of marriage in the province to "the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others."
The military has said it's willing to host gay weddings in jurisdictions where it's legal.
A low-key marriage ceremony
Greenwood, an Anglican, did not perform the marriage but he did make the arrangements for the service while a United Church minister from nearby Wolfville performed the vows.
"I looked after the co-ordination in accordance with our military policy of receiving the couple with dignity and respect," said Greenwood.
"I was there to preach and welcome the community on behalf of the base chaplaincy."
While most Anglican dioceses in Canada do not perform same-sex marriages, the Canadian church has postponed its official decision until 2007.
Greenwood said the ceremony was relaxed and low-key, and there wasn't a dry eye in sight when the couple signed the marriage documents.
Greenwood said he has been told that a second same-sex marriage may be in the works this year, at CFB Valcartier in Quebec.
Same-sex marriage legal in 7 provinces, 1 territory
In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Ottawa has exclusive jurisdiction to decide who has the right to get married in this country, but that religious groups are not obliged to perform unions against their beliefs.
Federal politicians are now considering a same-sex marriage bill.
Currently, same-sex marriages performed in seven provinces and one territory are legal and must be recognized. Same-sex marriages are not performed in Alberta, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, but the Nunavut government will recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.