Prof weds on CBC
By Sarvenaz Kermanshahi
The first televised same-sex marriage took place last Sunday
when a Western professor married his partner of 15 years live
on national television.
Douglas Drozdow-St. Christian, an anthropology professor at
Western, and his partner Stephen, a chef in Stratford, were
married before 25 friends and members of family. The ceremony
was aired live on CBC News: Sunday as a portion of a program
that discussed the same-sex marriage debate.
“People need to see the human face behind same-sex marriages,” Drozdow-St.Christian
explained. “They need to see that it is about loving
couples and loving families.
“What people saw was Stephen and I getting married surrounded
by people we love and who support us. They saw a loving community
and the mean-spiritedness of the opposition, and that all we
are doing is building families based on love, respect and diversity” he
The discussion panel featured such opponents of same-sex marriage
such as Margaret Somerville, an ethicist from McGill University
and Bryan Stiller, president of Tyndale College in Toronto.
Their arguments were met by lawyer Doug Elliot, Reverend Eldon
Hay and others.
“Reverend Hay demanded equality for his family: for
his heterosexual son who can marry, and for his homosexual
son, who cannot,” Drozdow-St. Christian stated. “Natasha
Fatah spoke as a Muslim woman in favour of same-sex marriages,
saying that tolerance is at the heart of Islam, not judgment,” he
The airing of the ceremony prompted numerous critical postings
on the CBC Newsworld online discussion forum, including some
who labelled Canada as the new Sodom and Gomorrah.
“The CBC was brave to do this because it remains a controversial
issue; they deserve our congratulations for confronting it
as a human one,” Drozdow-St. Christian said.
“We knew televising our marriage would be stressful.
Our family and friends were seated for four hours. But we knew
that raising the profile of same-sex marriage as something
that is about fostering loving families and communities would
be more important than any inconvenience or invasion of our
Drozdow-St. Christian said he has received entirely positive
feedback so far from the Western community. “I have been
stopped by about 20 to 30 people on campus who wanted to congratulate
me,” he said.