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Plaintiffs Paul Katami, left, and Jeff Zarrillo hold hands during a news conference following arguments for their case, outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, March 26, 2013. (Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times)
Plaintiffs Paul Katami, left, and Jeff Zarrillo hold hands during a news conference following arguments for their case, outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, March 26, 2013. (Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times)

How views of same-sex marriage are shifting south of the border Add to ...

The Globe asked three people who live in the U.S. but married in Canada to tell us how American attitudes are changing when it comes to same-sex marriage.

 

Lance Bateman, Hawaii, tagline in email said: "To accept only that which is popular is to accept the lowest common denominator"

My (late) husband was Bill Woods, who initiated the effort here in Hawaii in 1991 that led to the court decision in Hawaii in 1993 – and we continued working for equality through his death, and I've continued since.

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My sister and a member of Canadian Parliament were our officiants. My mother, who was present, told the press after (they made a big deal of "the father of gay marriage gets married in Hawaii”) that she was so proud of "both her sons". (Her attitude, she didn't lose a son to a marriage, she gained one).

In Hawaii, after we came so close in the early 90's, there was a reaction - not helped by the fact HRC and Lambda Legal had opposed the efforts early on. In 1998 we ended up with a Hawaii constitutional amendment that allowed the legislature to define marriage - it didn't preclude the fact the legislature could allow full equality.

We fought for several years just to be allowed on the bus, with Civil Unions - though we were only allowed on the back of the bus. Having a Republican governor during much of the early part of the 2000's didn't help (Lingle).

With the election of Neil Abercrombie as governor, his first act signed into law was Civil Unions.

Hawaii seems to be ready to accept full marriage equality now – but we still have many legislators afraid to take a stand, putting off making any decision until the Supreme Court makes their decision – figuring they won't have to take the political risk here of a decision.

Bill and I were on and even officers on the Neighborhood Board for our valley – I've been on the State Central Committee for the Hawaii Democratic Party and co-chair for the state convention – and have seen the party go from a hesitancy in 2001 to allow us to form the GLBT Caucus to a full level of support, including a strong plank in the state party platform for full marriage equality.

But see my tag line under my name - that can still be an issue.

Professor Phil Danielson, Denver

My husband (Carlos Martinez) and I were married five years and a half ago at Hatley Castle in Victoria, BC (see pics). Since then, we have noticed a sea change in public opinion back here in the US. Nearly everyone we meet is much more accepting of our marriage and the whole concept is no longer treated with raised eyebrows by strangers. In many ways, the American public is rapidly getting out in front of our political leaders on this issue. Even my very conservative colleagues now refer to Carlos as my husband rather than my friend or partner - that is a huge step for them.

That being said, the resistance has not disappeared entirely. Just yesterday were flying back to the US from Paris. When we arrived, we were questioned about our "relationship" by the Immigration agent. When we told him, we were married, he asked "YOU are married?" in what was a clearly disapproving tone of voice. So we still have progress to make but marriage equality has begun to take on an air of inevitability here.

John Selig, Texas

Even here in Texas, a majority of people are supporting the right to marriage. The reason that things are changing is two-fold. The first thing is that more people have come out of the closet. As I always say to people, it`s harder to hate someone you know and love than the stereotype. The other reason it`s changing is that we`re sharing our stories.

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