Final prep. for first wedding involving gay Canadian MP

A private security guard kept prying eyes away from a picturesque Nova Scotia beach where Scott Brison makes history Saturday by becoming the first MP to marry his same-sex partner since gay marriage became legally sanctioned two years ago.

Final prep. for first wedding involving gay Canadian MP
The Liberal politician and his partner Maxime St. Pierre were scheduled to get married on the beachfront not far from Brison's country home in Cheverie.

Early morning rain cleared for the ceremony, which included a guest list of two former prime ministers, Paul Martin and Joe Clark.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion was also scheduled to attend.

Brison, 40, has refused to comment on the marriage ceremony and details have been kept quiet by his family and friends, who were asked not to reveal anything about the event.

Local residents are playing down the significance of the wedding, noting that Brison has never defined his political career through his sexual orientation.

"Too each their own," said Pat Eldridge. "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."

Cheverie is a small community of 200 or so residents in the province's Annapolis Valley.

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 it merged with the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative party. He ran for the Liberal leadership in the contest won by Dion last year.

Some of the invited guests have said the couple will exchange vows and then host a dinner and dance on Brison's rural property.

Earlier this week, Bob Stead, mayor of nearby Wolfville and a longtime friend of Brison's, said there is little talk of the event in his Kings-Hants riding.

"I think for us it's kind of a so-what kind of thing," he said in an interview.

Brison is the second high-profile politician this summer to marry their same-sex partner.

A few weeks ago, George Smitherman, Ontario's first openly gay cabinet minister, wed his partner Christopher Peloso at a lodge near Sudbury, Ont.

Brison publicly acknowledged he is gay in 2002 and became Canada's first openly gay cabinet minister in 2004 after he crossed the floor of the Commons to join the Liberals.

But he's always closely guarded his private life, saying once that he is "not a gay politician, but a politician who happens to be gay."

Brison crossed to the Liberals in 2003 before a highly divisive debate on the same-sex marriage bill in June 2005 that saw more than two dozen Liberals join with the Conservative Opposition in voting against the legislation.

After Brison's engagement to St. Pierre was first reported by The Canadian Press in October 2005, Brison played down the social significance.

"I'm looking forward to the day when the idea of a gay or lesbian politician getting married is not a story at all," he said at the time.

Canadian Press
Last Mod: 18 Ağustos 2007, 21:09
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