Canada’s first federal politician marries since it was legalized two years ago

Liberal Member of Parliament Scott Brison, and his partner Maxime St. Pierre are about to be married in Nova Scotia. Brison’s wedding comes just weeks after George Smitherman, Ontario’s first openly gay cabinet minister, wed his partner Christopher Peloso.

There are some high-profile people on the guest list, including Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and former prime minister Paul Martin. Media reports say ex-cabinet minister Ken Dryden, former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna and former Conservative prime minister Joe Clark are also expected to attend.

Brison disclosed his sexual orientation in 2002 and became Canada’s first openly gay cabinet minister in 2004 after he joined the Liberal party. But he’s always closely guarded his private life.

Brison crossed to the Liberals in 2003 before a highly divisive debate on the same-sex marriage bill in June 2005 that saw more than two dozen Liberals join with the Conservative Opposition in voting against the legislation.

In Brison’s words, he is “not a gay politician, but a politician who happens to be gay.”

“Any time someone high-profile takes advantage of the rights that have been hard-fought for, I think that’s a good day for the community as a whole,” Kevin Kindred of the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project said in Halifax.