Toronto plans historic mass gay wedding for World Pride
On June 26, the City of Toronto is hoping to host one of the biggest LGBTQ weddings in history, to be held at the historical landmark Casa Loma. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Katherine DeClerq, CTV Toronto
Published Monday, May 5, 2014 12:04PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 5, 2014 3:53PM EDT
World Pride has just made it easy for same-sex couples to marry by rolling “out the rainbow carpet” in a wedding meant to make the record books.
The City of Toronto will host the biggest LGBTQ mass wedding in history on June 26 at the historical landmark Casa Loma. City officials are expecting up to 200 couples to be married, which would be 70 more than the current record-holding city Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly and Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam announced the celebration on May 2, inviting LGBTQ couples to participate in the “Grand Pride Wedding,” as it is being called.
“The Casa is opening its doors and we are inviting all LGBTQ couples and two-spirited couples from across the Americas and around the world in love and commitment,” Kelly said in the introductory YouTube video, explaining the event.
The ceremonies, which will be conducted by Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, New Thought, and Humanist officiants, will begin at 3 p.m. The festivities will continue into the night with dinner and live entertainment.
The newlyweds won’t have to worry about any of the wedding details. Flowers, photographers, tents, and audio equipment will be provided for them. There is no cost for registered couples, but there will be a $45 fee for guests to attend.
In a press conference on Monday, Wong-Tam said that Toronto has “had a very trying time over the past few years trying to put forward a face for the city about inclusivity, about diversity, about acceptance, which are true core principles of every Torontonian.”
“I think we have a spectacular opportunity this June to do specifically that,” she added. “To open the doors to Toronto and roll out the rainbow carpet as we prepare to host World Pride.”
World Pride is an annual international event celebrating LGBTQ activism, education, and culture. It also recognizes the two-spirited community, which represents First Nations people of various sexual, gender, or spiritual identities.
Toronto will host a number of galas, street fairs, art festivals, and marches in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer people over nine days beginning June 20. The festivities will end with the Pride Parade, a march that will include creative floats and tons of music. It will begin at the corner of Church and Bloor Streets and continue to Dundas Square.
This is the first time World Pride has been held in North America. Same-sex marriage has been legal throughout Canada since 2005.