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I local news
In the living room of her Vancouver, B.C. home, Marriage Commissioner Ann Moore marries Houston residents
Joseph Werle (left) and Brian Lang.
Weddings of same-sex
couples are booming in B.C.
WEDDINGS, continued from Page 1
Once they arrived in Vancouver, B.C.,
Lang said, they found that most residents
of the city are not only in favor of same-sex
marriage, but they seem to celebrate it.
A B.C. Appeals Court ruled in 2003 that
same-sex marriage is legal in the province
and since then, thousands of couples have
taken advantage of the ruling.
By consulting gayvancouver.com, Lang
said, he learned that he and Werle would
need to find a marriage commissioner to
perform their ceremony. He looked at the
list on the Web site and chose Ann Moore.
He fired off an e-mail to her and was
delighted to hear back that she would be
happy to perform their marriage.
Moore sent Lang a copy of the wording
she normally uses, words she wrote herself.
"She told us we could change anything
except what was written in red because it is
required in British Columbia," he said. "We
thou^it it was lovely We didn't change a thing.''
In e-mail exchanges with Moore, she
invited the two men to come to her home
for the service and told them they could
purchase their marriage license at an
insurance company near where she lives.
Moore told the Voice that when couples
come from outside Vancouver, she usually
conducts the service at her house.
"I've done close to 300 same-sex weddings, and 75 to 80 percent of them are
from the states or outside Canada," she
said. "I do a lot of weddings in my home
because a lot of people (from outside
Canada) don't have a venue."
On May 18, their wedding day, Lang
said, events did not seem to be shaping up
as he had planned. It was raining, and he
and Werle were running late.
The insurance company where they
were to purchase a license was closed.
■f) MORE INFO
MatTiage Resources in British Columbia
They called Moore in a panic, and she sent
them to a business in China Town.
Because there was no time to change
into the clothes they had planned to wear,
Lang and Werle showed up at Moore's
home with license but casually dressed.
"She has a lovely home," Lang said.
Moore put the two men at ease and
posed with them for photographs after the
Vancouver celebrates marriage
When they left Moore's house as a married couple, Lang and Werle found that in
Vancouver, all marriages are celebrated.
Stopping at a store to make a purchase,
they proudly told the clerk they had just gotten married. "She came around from behind
the counter and hugged us both," Lang said.
As they checked into the Pacific
Palisades Hotel, Lang said, he and Werle
told the desk clerk they were newlyweds.
"They gave us a lovely suite at a discounted price," Lang said. "We ate in the
hotel restaurant that night at dinner. We
told the waitress, and she gave us a 20-percent discount. She went and got the general manager. He charted us up for a while
and sent over a bottle of champagne."
It was a far cry from life in Texas,
where legislators recently approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution
that would ban same-sex marriage and
civil unions. Voters will decide Nov. 8.
"The real difference was just being up
there and being able to celebrate something like this," he said.
In addition, Lang said, marriage is no
frivolous matter in British Columbia. "If
we wanted to get a divorce, we'd have to
establish residency first."
Moore said those who come to
Vancouver to get married are often
amazed at how openly they are greeted.
"The couples I marry say they get wonderful help," she said. "Right here in
Vancouver It's very cosmopolitan."
Moore said she is one of about 25 marriage commissioners, and by law, all must
agree to perform same-sex weddings,
they're expected to resign.