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(Video footage courtesy of CBC News)
Love was in the air at Toronto’s Casa Loma Castle this week as 110 same-sex couples said “I do” at a massive wedding ceremony in celebration of WorldPride.
Over 110 same-sex couples tied the knot under the new glass tent at the beautiful Casa Loma Gardens, which was officiated by representatives from 12 different religious denominations; including Old Roman Catholic, Anglican, Pagan, Unitarian Universalist, Sikh, Humanist, Jewish, United Church, Buddhist, Muslim, New Thought and First Nations Elder.
Toronto’s ‘World Pride’ may be past its halfway mark, but this weeks mass wedding event was definitely the festival’s most extravagant event to date.
Each couple had their own personal story and reasons to be married in this quite unique manner.
Wade Murphy, one of the young newlyweds married his partner on the day as he felt it saved them the headache of organizing the wedding.
“It was a perfect way to get married” he said. “Why not have it all done for and just turn up… and at such a perfect location in Toronto!”
Sydney Downey, another newlywed was quoted as saying:
“We wanted a non-judgemental space to say our vows and this was a group setting where everyone was so supportive of each other”
Inae Lee knew she wouldn’t have the support of her South Korean parents as she wedded her partner and for them it was very special and significant:
“In my parents’ mind, they don’t believe that this can be celebrated. In their mind, it’s something that is illegal, not allowed and quite sinful.”
28 year old Lee said. She married her partner Jenny Chang Ho who is originally from Venezuela and they had met 2 years ago and been together since.
“This actually makes us appreciate more that we’re able to do this and be able to live freely in Canada.” Chang Ho said.
This was a definite first for the country of Canada, and certainly an internationally themed celebration. Saying their vows as part of the group also included couples from across North America, in addition to guests from countries where same sex weddings are illegal such as Ghana, Australia, Taiwan and more.
There was also a Sikh religious minister present on the day who quoted:
“Even though there is no Sikh couple getting married today, I am proud to be part of the ceremonies, and history has truly been made here on many levels!”
Toronto based singer Sean Jones and DJ Hansom from Amsterdam performed for the after party.
As part of our regular global focus on the themes of equality… this is certainly a symbolic step that we support in the right direction for civil societies everywhere and we are committed to keep our work focus strongly on telling the stories that encourage positive debate and conversation.
Photo Credit: West End
And special Thanks to Marni Zaretsky for his assistance.