John Manuel


Same-Sex Marriage



On June 10, 2003, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in favour of same-sex marriages, allowing Michael Leshner and Michael Stark to be the first same-sex couple in Canada to marry.


I am happy to solemnize marriages for all couples, regardless of gender.  With very little adjustment, the standard ceremony can be adapted to your needs.  A sample ceremony follows. 


Remember, this is "Your Wedding ... Your Way."  So, feel free to personalize it in any way.




                       Michael Leshner and Michael Stark


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Sample Ceremony


The Wedding of










(not actual names)





Saturday, June 13, 2015


3:00 p.m.






Held at






123 Prestige Boulevard


Marytown, Ontario










Conducted by

John G. Manuel

905 432-2468



The Wedding of




Hello, my name is John Manuel.  I am a Humanist Officiant, licensed by the Province of Ontario and the Humanist Association of Canada to solemnize marriages.  Humanism strives for a better world through the efforts of people.

We are gathered here this afternoon to witness and to celebrate the wedding of George Andrew Clark and James Matthew McNeill. We rejoice with George and Jim that out of the whole world, they have found each other; and that they will now find the greater richness and meaning of human life in sharing it with each other. Let us support them with our joy, hope, and love.


Marriage is the joyous uniting of those whose friendship and understanding have flowered into love. It is the promise of these two people to love, respect, and honour each other as individuals, and to unite their lives and share the future together.

Today, Jim and George are here to make a public declaration of the private commitment they have already made to each other, and to legally and formally marry. We who have gathered here rejoice with them, and for them, and wish them happiness in all the days and years of their lives to come.

I invite all those gathered here today to always remember their commitment to each other and to assist them in times of difficulty, encouraging them to hold fast together as a couple, supporting them equally in their marriage.


George & Jim, do you now declare your willingness to enter into this marriage with each other?

[I do]


And do you affirm that you have no knowledge of any impediment to your being lawfully joined in marriage?


[I do]


Will you please join your hands.

Jim, do you now take George as your life?s partner, accepting him for all the risings and settings of the sun in all the days of your lives to come?  And do you pledge your faithful love and support as long as time is yours?  


[I do]


George, do you now take Jim as your life?s partner accepting him for all the risings and settings of the sun in all the days of your lives to come?  And do you pledge your faithful love and support as long as time is yours?


[I do]


May I have the rings, please.


(Holding the rings in the air)


These rings symbolize the circle of love that George and Jim have forged today.  They represent the unending, encircling and intertwining of their lives together in marriage.

(Present George?s ring to Jim, who places it on George's finger)


Jim:  I place this ring on your finger / as a symbol of my love for you, / and take you into my heart / as my partner.


(George places ring on Jim's finger)


George:  I will wear this ring / for the rest of my life, / and I take you into my heart / as my life?s partner; / and I offer you this ring / as a symbol / of my undying love for you.


(couple hold hands)

May these rings serve, not as links in a chain, binding you together but rather as magnets ? drawing you closer and closer to each other every day of your lives from this day forward.




We know not what the future may bring into your lives as a couple.
But together, may you be equal to the needs of your tomorrows.
May you have patience in time of strain ? Strength in time of weakness
Courage in time of doubt ? And above all, a growing love to sustain you.




Jim and George,

You have spoken your promises to each other ?
and you have exchanged rings as signs of your commitment to each other.

And now, by the authority vested in me by the Province of Ontario, I do now declare that you have married one another in the presence of these witnesses.

You may share your first kiss as a married couple!


Thank you all for coming today, and thank you both for inviting me to be part of this important day in your lives.  We will now take a short break to sign the Marriage Register.


Signing of Marriage License and register

Presentation of legally married couple


Ladies and Gentlemen, Family and Friends, please welcome ? Newly Married ?

Jim and George