It was a scene that goes down countless times at sporting events every year...with a little twist.
At Saturday night's NHL game between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs, fans watched a marriage proposal take place on the ice. To nobody's surprise, she said yes. The somewhat uncommon aspect of the proposal was that the proposer was also a woman.
Alicia, a Maple Leafs fan decked out in a Phil Kessel jersey, was led onto the ice with a blindfold on. When it was removed, her girlfriend Cristina, wearing a Senators shirt, joined her, and Bruno Mars' hit "Just the Way You Are" played over the stadium's speakers. A personalized message appeared on the arena's scoreboard.
After a lengthy embrace, Cristina dropped to one knee as the crowd roared. Alicia accepted and slipped the ring on her finger, as the women enjoyed another hug and kiss. They waved to the crowd, and the Senators mascot held up a sign that read "She said yes."
While gay marriage remains a hot-button issue in the United States, Canadian legislation was passed in 2004 to allow same-sex marriages throughout the country. Before that, several provinces had adopted laws to allow the marriage of same-sex partners.
Canada has also become a popular destination for gay couples from other countries who want to become married. In fact, according to a February article by The Globe and Mail, of the 15,000 same-sex marriages that have taken place in Canada since 2004, more than 5,000 have involved residents of other nations.
The Ottawa Senators apparently were willing to risk possible negative reaction and decided to hold the lesbian marriage proposal in front of the 20,500 fans who attended Saturday's game. For some people, the most disappointing sight during the proposal may have been the hitching of a Senators fan with a Maple Leafs fan. The teams hold a healthy rivalry in the NHL's Northeast Division.
As such, the proposal was likely the only friendly exchange between Toronto and Ottawa on the night. On the ice, six players served five-minute major penalties for fighting, four players received game misconducts (ejections) and 96 total penalty minutes were issued to the two sides.
The visiting Maple Leafs took a 3-1 victory, though Ottawa maintains 12-point lead on Toronto in the season standings.
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