July 1, 2012
Toronto shows its Pride
By Jenny Yuen, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Saying “I do” is never easy.
Now try saying it on a moving parade float in front of a million people.
In an emotional ceremony at the 32nd Toronto Pride Parade Sunday, New York couple Carter Etherington and Breken Elwood did just that as a sea of spectators waved rainbow flags and cheered.
“It’s overwhelming. It’s like the biggest hug you’ve ever received. It’s unbelievable,” said Elwood, 37, who has been with Etherington, 40, for over a year.
“Though, I did cry a lot,” Etherington chimed in.
The pair won a contest sponsored by Tourism Toronto, which paid for their trip and made arrangements for the marriage during the parade.
Clasping each other’s hands and dressed in identical grey suits, the couple said their vows to one another while tearing up. They kissed each other after they were officially announced husband and husband to screams of approval.
“It’s hard to cry in front of a million people, but it’s also an amazing feeling to have that kind of support,” said Elwood. “Thank you, Toronto.”
Their friend, Liz Lattanzio, said the public ceremony was the perfect sendoff for the two.
“They’re totally in love and to make this statement in front of all of Toronto is amazing,” she said. “As a couple, they are exactly alike. When they first started dating, Carter said, ‘I met my match.’ They are perfectionists and they love the crowd and each other.”
About 1 million people crammed Yonge St., from Bloor to Dundas Sts., to watch the spectacle.
Given that the parade fell on Canada Day this year, some participants strutted in red and white and put the ‘Eh in ‘gay.’
“It’s the ability to celebrate my gayness and my Canadian-ness,” said 23-year-old Philippe Laurin, who carried the Canadian flag and donned a Canada sash.
“We are so lucky to live in Canada, which gives so many rights to LGBT people. My dream was to be Miss Canada and this is a way to fulfill my dream. “