Liberal MP Scott Brison was marriedin Nova Scotia Saturday, becomingthe first federal politician to marry a same-sex partner since gaymarriage became legal in Canada more than two years ago.
Maxime St. Pierre and the member of Parliament for Kings-Hantsexchanged vows at a church in Cheverie, the Nova Scotia community where Brison grew up. The wedding was to have taken place outside, but heavy rain caused the ceremony to be moved to a small United church up the road.
A number of dignitaries, including Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, former New Brunswickpremier Frank McKennaandformer prime ministers Paul Martin and Joe Clark, were among the guests.
"Everyone involved felt like they were part of a history-making event," McKenna said. "It seemed like a validation of a long process."
Dion said he hoped his presence at the wedding would reinforce the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Brison, 40, had refused to comment on the details of the marriage ceremony and his family and friends managed to keep most details of the event under wraps.
Many of the 200 or so residents ofCheverie, on the province's western shoreline in the Annapolis Valley,saytheydon't understandthe fuss and are playing down the significance of the wedding.
"To each their own,"said Pat Eldridge of nearby Canning. "Everyone's entitled to their own opinions and own way of life.He's not hurting us. If they're in love and want to be together, then that's awesome. Love is hard to find."
Brison is an MP with a national profile, having sought the leadership of both the Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties.
In 2000, when Brison was sitting as a Progressive Conservative in the Commons, he resigned his seat so Clark — who was the party's leader — could run in a byelection.
Brison ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives in 2003 before switching to the Liberals just days after his old party merged with the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative party.
He ran for the Liberal leadership in the contest won by Dion last year.
Parliament passed the same-sex marriage bill in June 2005. The vote followed a highly divisive debate that saw more than two dozen Liberals join with the Conservative Opposition in voting against the legislation.