Mass gay wedding in Toronto kicks off Pride weekend

Video: As London, Sheffield and Swansea prepare for their pride celebrations this Saturday, the WorldPride festival in Toronto held a mass gay wedding for couples from across the globe  

Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Queen Latifah may have united at this year's Grammy Awards to marry 34 couples described as "gay, straight, old, young, of many races and many colours," but that was easily bettered by the Grand Pride Wedding in Toronto on Thursday, which saw over 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples tie the knot.

The mass wedding was part of the World Pride festival running in Toronto this week, an event that promotes LGBT issues and is held every couple of years, with the 2012 World Pride held in London and the next celebration to occur in 2017 in Madrid.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005 and the country is one of only sixteen across the globe that has legalised gay marriage. Other countries that allow same-sex marriage include the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and New Zealand. Parts of Mexico and the United States have also legalised gay marriage.

The mass gay wedding in Toronto is the largest of its kind in North America and Toronto, the fourth largest city on the continent, is well known for its diverse population with over 50 per cent of its residents hailing from outside of Canada.

Couples from all over the world took part in the ceremony, with people travelling from Ohio, Ghana, Taiwan and Australia.

Taiwanese couple Cindy Su and her partner Lana Yu told CBC News Toronto, "We're really jealous of Canada. We're looking forward to this happening in our country."

Australian couple Richard Laslett and Collin Gunther had been together for 37 years and made the long journey to Toronto to finally tie the knot.

Gunther told AFP , "After a while, you think it's never going to happen. You settle into a relationship," added Laslett.

Laslett said, "We'll call ourselves husband and husband, even though our marriage won't be recognized when we go home".

Mass wedding have become something of a phenomenon of late. In February, nearly 2,500 identically-dressed couples married at a ceremony in South Korea as part of the Unification Church, commonly known as "Moonies".

In London this summer, as part of a festival of love being staged at the Southbank Centre, mass wedding ceremonies will also be held on a stage at the Royal Festival Hall.

At the Grammy Awards earlier this year, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis used their pro-gay rap "Same Love" to hold a wedding for 34 couples, with Queen Latifah acting as the officiant.

Read more: London Pride - all you need to know
Conchita Wurst to headline London Pride event
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk