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Should I stay or should I go — the Canada discussion

In my post last night on Canada’s military agreeing to marry same-sex partners, I mentioned that The Great White North is so much more civilized than the U.S. The politics here are really starting to wear on me; our country is turning into a theocracy led by our own American Taliban. My question to those of you willing to speak up, was should we stay and fight? Kate and I need some convincing, as we felt the warmth of total acceptance by all of the folks we came in contact with in lovely Vancouver. You just wanted to close your eyes and wish this country would wake up from this nightmare of political intolerance. What would we do if NC passed a super-DOMA or FMA passed. We’d have to consider Canada.

I got a great response from a reader; he said I could post his letter. Read and comment, if you wish.

Hi, Pam.

Recent blog reader here, also Canadian-gay-married in Vancouver (belated congratulations to you both), currently living across Puget Sound from Seattle.

On the the should-I-stay-or-should-I-go discussion, my husband and I have an appointment with an attorney at Embarkation Law [ ] Friday afternoon to get their opinion on whether we’d qualify for residency and/or citizenship. Embarkation held a series of three (mobbed) emigration workshops the first weekend of December in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Canada uses a points system, one category of which is age, and at 52 and 54, we’re about to lose the points from that category, but I think we’ll qualify in others. My last perusal of the Advocate showed ads from four immigration law firms in Toronto (closer to you, but alas, not Vancouver).

I’ll be glad to give you an update next week.

We’re getting some attitude from leftie friends implying we’re chickening out by researching heading north. I don’t know about you, but after the national and state elections (P. and I were both speakers for Oregon’s No on 36), after everything that was in news and opinion media, after all the information about Iraq and the economy and the shameful treatment of everyone in the LGBT community and their friends, and Bush STILL won another four years, I’m exhausted. I can’t keep up that level of whatever for another four years. I figure it will take 25 years to repeal state constitutional amendments. We’ll be 77 and 79 then. Why should I spend over a quarter of my life asking supposedly religious straight white men for the same rights they have now when I can drive three hours north and have them by lunchtime Friday?

Story time: I had a Friday and Saturday alone in Vancouver to get the license, get a commissioner, find and secure a location, and find and secure a restaurant for dinner afterwards, knowing nothing about Vancouver. Sound familiar? I’d just gotten the license and I was thrilled, because it had never occurred to me that I would get married. I met a marriage commissioner in the elevator and asked if it would be a good idea to tell potential locations and restaurants that this would be a same-sex wedding, since the last thing I wanted on my wedding day was attitude. Her response? “Oh, I’m so sorry. All that tells me is that you’re not from here. It won’t even come up. If it makes you feel better, of course, tell them, but really, it won’t make any difference at all.”

I of course thought she was well-meaning but crazy. Guess what? She was right. I went to ten places; all ten immediately congratulated me* and said they’d love to host the dinner. None cared that there were two grooms. How okay do you think that would be in your town? I’d be laughed out of restaurants in my little 8,000-person town; it would vary depending on what part of Seattle I was in. But I would not get spontaneous across-the-board congratulations from total strangers.

[* Two weeks later, en route to the wedding, the Canadian Customs guy said congratulations three times. I won’t even ask the obvious comparison question.]

Enough for now. Consider it carefully, gather information (we’re also researching New Zealand), then decide. But don’t beat yourself up for doing what you (plural) think is best for you (plural).

Till next week…


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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding