Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

It's Cooler in Canada

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

It's Cooler in Canada

Article excerpt

Last year Sarah Rose Werner was so fed up with the way GLBT Americans were being treated that she renounced her U.S. citizenship.

She moved to St. John, Canada, from Portland, Maine, in 1998 and received her Canadian citizenship in 2001. The longer she lived outside America, the stranger it seemed to her as a place for gay men and lesbians to live, says the self-employed Werner. "I've never had a problem [in Canada] with people dealing with me as an individual. The center of the political spectrum in Canada is far to the left of the U.S."

While most GLBT Americans won't be ripping up their U.S. citizenship papers, there is evidence they would feel more welcome as gay people up north. Most Canadians now live in jurisdictions with equal marriage rights after a provincial court in November made Saskatchewan the seventh region to include same-sex couples in the definition of marriage, according to the national gay advocacy group Egale. Toronto and Montreal, with their huge pride festivals, are gay vacation destinations. Even gay Europeans notice the difference between Canada and America: In a survey of 636 attendees at 2004's EuroGames in Munich, more than half said they plan to attend the first World Outgames in Montreal in 2006; only 7% said they'll attend Chicago's Gay Games. …

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