TV & Radio
Two heterosexual men in Toronto cancel "gay" wedding
Fri Aug 12, 6:28 PM ET - AFP
Two longtime friends, neither gay, who recently announced plans to get married to take advantage of Canada's tax rules that give couples preferrential treatment have called off their nuptials, they told AFP.
Bryan Pinn, 65, and Bill Dalrymple, 56, have been best friends for 22 years. Both are divorced. Pinn has two adult children.
When Prime Minister Paul Martin's government enacted a controversial same-sex marriage law last month, the duo decided to take advantage of a loophole in the legislation and get hitched. The bill did not specificy that the couple had to be gay.
"We were in a bar doing our best impersonations of (actors from The Odd Couple television series) Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon and somebody said: 'You two guys sound like an old married couple' and a light went on and we thought we could be," said Pinn.
"We thought we could get a house and live together," he said.
Martin's Liberals passed the same-sex marriage bill in July with the support of the leftist New Democratic Party and the separatist Bloc Quebecois, ending nearly four years of debate and political maneuvering that at times divided both the House and the country.
MPs voted 158 to 133 in favour of the legislation following a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that changes to the marriage laws from "a man and a woman" to "two people" would not contravene the country's constitution.
The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain also allow gay couples to wed.
"If you're going to do social engineering, you should expect some unanticipated ripples to wash up on all shores. They had an exclusionary law. In an effort to make it inclusionary, the government had to make it all-inclusive. I don't know if they anticipated this," Pinn said.
A letter Dalrymple and Pinn sent to the editor of the Toronto Sun immediately after Pinn proposed to his buddy, outlining the "significant tax implications" of two straight men getting married, resonated with journalists around the world.
Fox News in the United States and the BBC in the United Kingdom, among others, broadcast the news of their odd wedding plans.
Reactions were mixed. Several people praised their pluck. Others were hateful, accusing them of being "heretics and homophobes," Pinn said.
"We pissed off the entire lunatic fringe," he said.
On Wednesday night, they decided to put out the "brush fire" they had started and call the whole thing off.
"It was a moment of whimsy that spun out of all control," Pinn said.
"We don't want to be anyone's poster boys. This really was an act of political satire. If this is going to cause mayhem, we don't want to be the tethered goats. It's out there now, discuss amongst yourselves," Pinn said.
He also quipped that could not marry Dalrymple after discovering he "does his wash in the sink and hangs them in the shower."
"We'll probably be best friends for another 20 years, but we don't have to get married. Why would you ruin a good friendship and get married." Pinn said.