Toronto celebrates pride after gay marriage ruling
June 29, 2003
TORONTO - Thousands of visitors descended on Toronto Sunday for the city's annual Gay Pride parade, traditionally one of the world's largest host cities of the gathering but recently affected by a SARS
The parade was the climax of a week of celebrations, with gays
and lesbians exuberant after Canada's Court of Appeal struck down
the federal definition of marriage as being solely between a man
and a woman.
The parade also allowed Toronto to recover some of its cheer,
following a decline in tourism due to the epidemic of severe acute
respiratory syndrome (SARS) which has left 38 dead.
But police and organizers declined to say how many people were
Last year, organizers said one million people attended the
Toronto Gay Pride parade.
This year's event followed on from last week's historic ruling
deciding that the federal definition of marriage went against
Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The move gave the go-ahead for Ontario city clerks to begin
registering same-sex marriages.
Toronto's city clerk's office was to stay open during the
weekend for couples -- including same-sex couples -- to fill out a
marriage license application, also keeping its wedding chamber open
Around 250 same-sex couples have married in Toronto since it
became legal to do so June 10.
Elsewhere, only the Netherlands and Belgium have legally
recognized same-sex marriages.
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