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Gay & Lesbian News

Gay Mounties Married in Uniform

YARMOUTH, CANADA -- Two gay men, both members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, were married in a ceremony on Friday.

Wearing their scarlet coats, RCMP constables Jason Tree and David Connors exchanged vows before a justice of the peace and a troop of other Mounties in their fabled red serge.

Reaction to the wedding - the first between two male RCMP officers in uniform - has befuddled the couple, who have been overwhelmed by interview requests from reporters and congratulations from well-wishers they have never met.

Gay Canada"We don't see our wedding as anything different or special," Tree said. "Our goal was to get married, not have an international media story.

"I fail to see the big deal."

The 27-year-old Tree, who has been an RCMP officer for six years, said he has received about 60 letters from strangers congratulating him on the big event and praising the couple for publicly proclaiming their love - and doing so in uniform.

He has heard the jokes that refer to the couple as the Brokeback Mounties, while headlines blurt out that this Mountie has gotten his man.

Tree said he and Connors, 28, never intended to make a political statement.

Same sex marriage was recognised by Canada's Parliament a year ago. New Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pledged to hold a free vote in the House of Commons this fall to determine whether the issue should be revisited.

Ken Spragg, a guest at the private ceremony, called the wedding another step toward gays being treated like everyone else.

"I got to see them take the vows that other people have taken for granted," Spragg said. "So many don't understand what it means to have that opportunity."

Spragg said the fact the gay couple can do what everyone else can do "is really gratifying."
 

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