Chanting “Queer Carleton U, since 1992” and “gay or straight, C-38”, dozens of Carleton students and community members descended on Parliament on Dec 7 at 11:30am, just hours before the house votes on a motion to re-open debates on gay marriage.
“Canada has moved on; equality is a Canadian government,” says Michael Wiseman, the student who organized the event.
Reporters from major outlets swarmed the protest. Openly gay MP Bill Siksay, who watched from the side before giving a short speech, posed for photos with students.
“That’s what this is all about: people making promises to each other. How can that weaken our society?” Siksay says. “I think we’re going to put this issue behind us – finally.”
NDP leader Jack Layton also made a brief appearance, speaking of his own wedding day. He said even then him and NDP MP Olivia Chow wanted marriage rights extended to gay couples.
“I must say, at the time, it seemed like a long way off,” he says.