Bryan Pinn, 65, and Bill Dalrymple, 56, told the Toronto Sun a week ago in a letter that they planned to tie the knot to expose a major loophole in Canada’s recently adopted same-sex marriage laws.
The pair, best friends for 22 years, had been kidding around at a Toronto bar on August 1, impersonating the actors from the television series, The Odd Couple, when they were told “you two guys look like an old married couple.”
The comment got them thinking that perhaps they could take advantage of the gay marriage laws enacted last month in Canada and benefit from preferential taxation afforded to Canadian couples.
After calling a lawyer, they found the new legislation did not specify that a union of two people of the same sex had to be a marriage of a homosexual couple.
Mr Pinn and Mr Dalrymple, both divorcees and the former a father of two adult children, intended for their wedding to “shed light on the widespread financial implications of the new legislation.”
“If you are going to do social engineering, you should expect some unanticipated ripples to wash up on all shores. They had an exclusionary law, in an effort to make it inclusionary, the government had to make it all-inclusive. I don’t know if they anticipated this,” Mr Pinn said.
The two insist they have no desire to insult gays and lesbians, but the news of the impending nuptials has drawn a mixed response.
“Generally speaking, marriage should be for love,” Toronto lawyer and gay rights activist Bruce Walker, told the Ottawa Sun.
“People who don’t marry for love will find themselves in trouble,” Mr Walker said, adding that he was not personally offended by the union.
Others were less welcoming, accusing the pair of being “heretics and homophobes,” said Mr Pinn in an interview with the Agence France Presse (AFP).
“We pissed off the entire lunatic fringe,” Mr Pinn was quoted as saying.
Ultimately, the pressure proved too much.
“It was a moment of whimsy that spun out of control…This really was an act of political satire. If this is going to cause mayhem, we don’t want to the tethered goats. It’s out there now, discuss amongst yourselves,” Mr Pinn said.
Besides, quipped Mr Pinn, he could not possibly marry Mr Dalrymple after discovering that he washed his clothes in the sink and hung them out to dry in the shower.
“We’ll probably be best friends for another 20 years, but we don’t have to get married. Why would you ruin a good friendship and get married?” Mr Pinn told the AFP.