Two gay members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were to be married in a ceremony Friday night.
Dressed in their distinctive scarlet coats, RCMP constables Jason Tree and David Connors will exchange vows before a justice of the peace and a troop of other Mounties in their fabled red serge.
Reaction to the wedding — the first between two male RCMP officers in uniform — has befuddled the couple, who have been overwhelmed by interview requests from reporters and congratulations from well-wishers they have never met.
“We don’t see our wedding as anything different or special,” Tree said. “Our goal was to get married, not have an international media story.”
“I fail to see the big deal,” Tree added.
The 27-year-old Tree, who has been an RCMP officer for six years, said he has received about 60 letters from strangers congratulating him on the big event and praising the couple for publicly proclaiming their love — and doing so in uniform.
He has heard the jokes that refer to the couple as the Brokeback Mounties, while headlines blurt out that this Mountie has gotten his man.
Tree said he and Connors, 28, never intended to make a political statement.
Same sex marriage was recognized by Canada's Parliament a year ago. New Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pledged to hold a free vote in the House of Commons this fall to determine whether the issue should be revisited.