The Ring

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples.”

– Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker

The past week has been pretty amazing. The August long weekend played host to Vancouver’s Pride celebrations and my engagement to my partner; and yesterday saw the repealing of Proposition 8 by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. Each event alone is significant because they all celebrate our basic rights to freedom, equality, and love, but together they represent the power of diversity at its best.

“Liberate” was the theme of this year’s Pride celebrations in Vancouver, the second of three themes for the years 2009 to 2011 (2009: Educate; 2011: Celebrate). It’s estimated that around 600,000 people attended the parade and festivities this year, an increase from the 530,000 in 2008. And for attendees events were scheduled all weekend, ranging from the street party on Davies St. to the actual parade on Sunday afternoon; everywhere you looked there were rainbow flags flying proudly.

Vancouver has a special something about it which makes Pride possible, a je-ne-sais-quoi only matched by Montreal and Toronto. Maybe it’s the liberal atmosphere, maybe it’s the presence of an actual street where trash cans and bus stops are pink, maybe it’s a combination of many things. Whatever it is, it makes Vancouver unique in a way that few cities are able to achieve.

Bubbles and Rainbows

Image courtesy of The Calgary Herald

But despite the celebrations, there remain dark spots that struggle to maintain a grip on their narrow views such as one particular church in New Westminster. It’s truly unfortunate that despite her commitment to religion and to God the church would still choose to take the stance that it did. And so even though it might seem odd or counter-intuitive, there were still many floats in the parade from religious groups. The power of Pride is such that it is entirely possible for people from all walks of life to come together and celebrate the truth of diversity, that being different does not mean wrong.

Down south, there was also cause for celebration yesterday as a judge overturned Proposition 8, ruling that it represented a moral objection instead of a constitutional objection. I remember the day Prop 8 was announced, and thinking that it made absolutely no sense for a state widely known for its liberal take on gay rights to somehow drum up a majority vote in favour of Prop 8. Proposition 8 was something you might expect from a state like Texas or Louisiana, not California, home to the Castro District. On the repealing, Lady Gaga had this to say on her Facebook page:

“At the moments notice of PROP 8 DEATH I instantly began to write music. BUBBLE DREAMS FOREVER! FULL EQUALITY! THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!

REJOICE and CELEBRATE gay communities and straight all over the world. Our voices are being heard! Loud! SCREAM LOUD AMERICANOS!”

Finally, the engagement to my partner of over a year and a half was probably the most momentous moment of my life (holy alliteration Batman!). It could not have come at a better time, and I’m happy to say we have an exciting road ahead of us! You are the Love of my life, I Love you so much! xoxo


P.S. Yes, that’s the ring.  😉