Monday, January 23, 2006

Hitched, Canadian-style

Mission accomplished: Alan and I are recognized as a married couple under the law in British Columbia/Canada.

Wondering what to do after the deed, I suggested that we go about filling out any form we could find so that we could check the "married" box.

But, seriously, I don't feel "more married." It was a little disconcerting to feel like we needed to scramble to get this legal recognition. I am thankful that at least it's possible, and in my lifetime. I still think it's a ridiculous issue and can't understand why anyone cares, except the couples who want the recognition. Also, having the recognition North of our current border makes me want our move to go faster.

Well, I'm watching the election results. Conservative minority. Not the end of the world and perhaps for the best. It's not good to have a sizable portion of the population feel completely alienated from the government, so now's their turn. And, as I've written, the Liberals need to clean up their party and it will only happen having been voted out of power. Maybe a minority government is always good, no matter what the party. The U.S. is very winner-take-all and increasingly divided. It's good when parties have to acknowledge the existence of other parties. (Reference Mr. "I earned politial capital and I intend to spend it." -- even though he barely "won.")

I can't wait to get the CIC application submitted ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Goin' to the Marriage Commissioner & Gonna Get Married ...

Just doesn't have the same ring to it as the song ...

OK, so if you've read any of this blog, you know that we (well, especially me) are the nervous type. We're concerned about the federal election and what might happen for the rights of same-sex couples. So, while we know we can, we're running up to Vancouver this coming weekend, getting our marriage license and having our marriage recognized by a governmental body for the first time. If we weren't planning on relocating North, we would not be doing this, as it extends us no further protections or benefits on our current side of the border. But we do want to make sure, as far as is possible, that we will be recognized as married should we admitted as Permanent Residents in Canada in the coming years.

As for the application saga: Well, I had set a deadline for myself of December 31 and when it fell apart, I did, too. I did, however, pull myself back together. I finally managed to get a letter from my employer to at least admit that I am employed and for how long. (I think my pathetic-ness got to the woman at the local office and she broke.) And I'm working on obtaining two supplemental letters to go with that one from folks who can actually speak to the work that I do. That, I hope, will serve.

I hope to hear from the Costa Rican Consulate any day now. Now that we're in January anyway, I might as well try to get that in as well. I've printed out all the pieces of the filled-in application and all our supplemental sheets and explanatory notes. It's about a quarter-inch thick -- and that's without the documents such as birth certificates and college transcripts. Alan and I need to take a morning (perhaps with the energy and courage gotten from a veinte latte) and read through everything thoroughly.

So ... we're close, ever so close ...

But back to the elections. I really do understand the context. The Liberals (large "L") have gotten fat and happy (corrupt and smug) and probably the only thing they will understand -- to make them clean up their act -- is to be voted out. A close election that they almost lose won't be good enough. If that happens, they'll make noises for a while that seem productive, but ultimately it will go back to same ol', same ol'. Anyway, that's my perspective and I will admit to not being the best informed. I just wish that the alternative wasn't the Conservatives and that the Conservatives could resist the urge to beat up on a minority to appease the mob.

If I were allowed to vote (and I know that even being a PR will not allow that), I would be in a quandary: vote my conscience -- NDP -- or vote strategically for the Liberals. I have done both at different times. Here, though, the results never seem to matter anyway.

I do have faith in Canadians; I really don't think they will stand by and let their country become a place where W would be comfortable. How about an exchange program? Alan and I will gladly trade places with a Canadian right-wing religious couple who want to live in a budding theocracy. We choose freedom and equality.

At some point in the future, same-sex marriage won't be an issue any more -- on either side of the border. It will just be a fact. But will we be alive at that time? In the meantime, Alan and I are playing it safe and getting the official piece of paper to bring home with us. I hope it will be followed by our pieces of paper going in the other direction ...