Saskatoon parents celebrate daughter's same-sex marriage

A couple from Saskatoon who spent years fighting for their daughter's right to have a same-sex marriage is celebrating the engagement.

Parents Cathie and Chris Fornssler spent years fighting for same-sex marriage rights

Cathie and Chris Fornssler felt a special joy when they finally saw their daughter's same-sex engagement photo in the newspaper. (Leisha Grebinski)

Seeing your child's engagement photo in the newspaper is special for any parent, but for the Fornssler family, the moment carried a special significance.

Cathie and Chris Fornssler spent years sending letters to politicians and speaking out for same-sex marriage. Although it was legalized in Canada in 2004, it called for extra celebration when their daughter decided to get married.   

After all their efforts in advocating for same sex-marriage, their daughter Barb Fornssler is taking the next step and marry her long-term partner Holly McKenzie this June.

To mark the event, Barb's parents put her engagement photo in The Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon's daily newspaper.

Barb Fornssler and Holly McKenzie will be getting married this June. (Macarena Sofia)

It's a dream come true for her parents, who always wanted their daughter to have the same possibility for commitment that the two of them have shared. 

"We've been married, what, 45 years? We think it's a wonderful institution," said Cathie Fornssler. 

"We didn't know whether she would actually ever get married or if she wanted to. But if she wanted to, we wanted her to be able to do that without, as I say, being sort of arbitrarily barred from something like that because of her sexuality," she said.  

It wasn't just political. There was also that personal, family kind of dimension to it.- Cathie Fornssler , Barb's mom

Cathie Fornssler would highlight in her letters that same-sex marriage is something that concerns entire families, not just same-sex couples. 

"It wasn't just political. There was also that personal, family kind of dimension to it," she said. 

With a small family, the Fornsslers say, there aren't many opportunities to attend weddings. For it to be their daughter's wedding makes it even more special. 

But Chris Fornssler said he sees the ceremony itself as an event that marks something much more important.  

"That Barb and Holly be happy together and that this is the symbolic manifestation of that. Wonderful," he said. 


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