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Artist Designs Gay-Friendly Wedding-Themed Canadian Coin

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Jan 27, 2012
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Toronto-based artist Gary Taxali has worked with household name brands, such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Converse and Levi’s. For his latest project, Taxali was enlisted by Canada’s Royal Mint to design six coins -- and one of them celebrates same-sex marriage, the Canadian newspaper, the National Post reported in a Jan. 23 article.

The retro-style quarter depicts two embracing wedding rings with cute faces that are linked together.

"I live in a country where gender is irrelevant and the coin has to represent that," said Taxali. "I thought it would be a nice thing to represent that and to show two rings; is one a man and one a woman? Two men? Two women? It doesn’t matter what they are, they represent the union of two people."

"The Royal Mint really liked that idea because it represents the spirit of our nation and also, I think that it’s empowering to somebody and hopefully this calling will send a powerful message that we’re all the same and a wedding is a wedding. I think this is probably the first piece of currency in the world, paid by a federal government that is pro-wedding regardless of gender and that makes me really happy."

In addition to the wedding quarter, Taxali also created coins depicting birthdays, the birth of a newborn, ice cream, the tooth fairy and more.

"It’s a dream job and every time I talk about it, the only word I can really describe is honor," says Taxali. "It’s a huge, huge honor to be bestowed this kind of privilege and we came up with a really good representation of my work." Taxali tells the newspaper that of all the coins he created, he is most proud of the wedding-themed coin.

Canada has been one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to LGBT rights as they have most of the same legal rights as non-LGBT citizens. In 2005, the country legalized civil marriage to gay couples, which made it the third nation in the world to do so. Canada’s constitution protects the LGBT community from discrimination in most areas as it does not grant or deny them any right.

When it comes to adoption, same-sex couples are allowed to legally adopt in every province and territory. Additionally, gays are allowed to openly serve in the military and transgender people have the ability to legally change their gender.

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