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Scott Brison describes it as "Canadian Gothic."

"Just a couple of guys and their dog standing in a field," he says about his Christmas card this year. But there are others, the Nova Scotia Liberal MP says, who are describing it as "The Brokeback Brisons" - an homage to the Ang Lee movie about two gay cowboys and their love affair on a Wyoming mountain.

This is the first time, meanwhile, the couple has posed together for a Christmas card and it is likely the first same-sex married-couple MP Christmas card.

On the card, which is displayed above, he is standing with his husband of two years, Maxime St. Pierre, in a field on their property with Cape Blomidon and the Minas Basin in the background. Simba, their golden retriever, is with them. It was sent to about 5,000 friends and constituents. The photo was taken by Windsor, N.S., photographer Garey Pridham.

Mr. Brison says he wasn't trying to make any sort of political statement with the card. Rather, the couple had never gotten around to having photos taken. But this past Thanksgiving they took advantage of a wedding gift to do a shoot. (Mr. Brison made history when he became the first federal politician to marry his same-sex partner in August, 2007.) They liked the images and decided to one for their card.

The Liberal MP says the card has gone out throughout the rural riding. And there have been no negative comments or raised eyebrows. "What could be more rural Nova Scotian than two guys and their dog standing in front of the Minas Basin," Mr. Brison says. "It's almost got a Norman Rockwell quality to it. It's kind of Canadian Gothic."

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