The Canadian province of Alberta is about to get its first same-sex wedding for a cabinet minister.
Ricardo Miranda has already made history before. In 2015, he became the first openly gay, Jewish, Hispanic person elected to Alberta legislature. He’s now the minister of culture and tourism.
Now according to CBC/Radio Canada, Miranda’s personal life and political life are affecting each other in ways they never have before.
On July 4, 2015, Miranda was visiting the Lesser Slave Lake area for a constituency event for Danielle Larivee, the minister of children’s services. Larivee successfully set up Miranda with an employee of hers named Christopher Brown.
“She kind of played matchmaker,” Miranda told CBC.
The two agreed to go out for coffee and quickly hit it off.
“I thought he was more interested to talk about politics,” said Miranda. “Then it turned out he was more interested in talking about personal stuff.”
As the years went by, the relationship stayed strong and both men realized that they wanted to propose. For Miranda, he thought of proposing this past October, but felt a “no” vibe coming from his lover. It turns out, this is because Brown wanted to propose himself.
Brown later proposed at the end of October and Miranda said yes. Brown also gave Miranda a gold ring with four small diamonds to represent July 4th, the day they met.
So far, the two have invited 100 people to their wedding and have started up the wedding party. Miranda’s 18-year-old nephew will be his best man, his 23-year-old niece will be the flower girl, and Brown’s Ontario-based family will travel to Alberta for the wedding.
Despite the joyous news, Miranda expressed some hesitation at going public with the engagement.
“Visibility is very important to the community,” he said. “We’ve seen, unfortunately, even here in the province, a rise in hate crimes. And it takes us back to a time I don’t want to go back to.”
He then added:
“You can’t forget where you’re from, and you have to make strides to advance the rights of everyone.”
“We could have … easily done this without anybody finding out. But I’ve always been open and forthcoming and honest about my life, and this didn’t seem like the time to actually hide.”
Congratulations to the happy couple.