Queer Comes the Bride
Wedding dresses, tuxedos, bouquets, boutonnières, and bands of gold must have flown off of San Francisco shop shelves during February’s same sex marriage-a-thon. George Bush and his band of uptight defenders of the newly discovered secular “sacrament” of civil marriage naturally see this as some sign of the coming Apocalypse instead of a natural step in the ever expanding recognition of Constitutionally protected natural rights – or a sign that the concept of marriage is alive and well, thank you very much.
The merchants of San Francisco are now presumably more keen on the idea of legal marriage being extended to gays and lesbians than ever before, especially during this particularly unpleasant economic slump. Straight or gay, regardless of how long people actually bother to stay married, they pour plenty of cash into the country’s coffers while planning their weddings. And after 9/11 we all know that spending money is Job #1 for patriotic Americans. Viva the free market, baby.
I’ve been legally married twice and although I see the appeal both on a personal and administrative level, I can’t see what all the hysteria in the White House is about. The health of heterosexual marriage has nothing to do with gay anything, marriage or otherwise. My marriages didn’t end because my landlord was queer or because the lesbians down the street had a nicer car than mine or because anybody anywhere else did anything. It ended because my husbands and I were not willing to remain married to one another and chose to divorce. Period. End of story.
Just as I encourage religious zealots hot to convert me to their personal brand of salvation, I likewise now encourage Bush and his heterosexual role models to clean their houses before complaining about the condition of others’. When straight marriage reaches both a personal and social perfection, those that promote it can begin giving lectures on how it’s done right. While that’s going on, they should let those of us who prefer our relationships personalized to continue to do so; maybe we’ve even got a few things to contribute to the debate about the nature of commitment, which – personal religious preferences and governmental incentives hoarding aside – is really what we’re talking about here.
Increasingly those against same sex marriages raise the specter or multiple partner marriages as a reason to put the breaks on the entire dialogue by mutilating the Constitution. At this point, it’s obvious even to the Bush Administration that at the very least, gays and lesbians will be offered civil unions as a compromise – so there must be another wave of social horrors to further “protect” marriage from. What greater threat to marriage than – even more people wanting to give it a whirl? I’m sure there’s logic there, somewhere. It seems in the best interest of the government – which is ever so hungry to know every detail of our private lives – to register everyone that considers themselves part of a family or marriage.
Personally, I think that if the government wants to queer alternative folk on the idea of legal marriage, the best way to do it is to let them walk down those aisles, exchange those rings, make those promises, and sign those papers, regardless of the sex or number of adults they wish to marry. It’s not marriage that needs to be protected, it’s the Constitution and the rights of Americans to come together – and stay together – in whatever loving combination best suits them.
– Originally published in Playtime Magazine –