limbs entwined watching “Friends”
exchanging small squeezes of affection
and little lip-smacking kisses
on arms and foreheads.
Existing in a stationary form
oblivious to the teeth-grinding
of all who are within sight and earshot
of their retch-inducing bliss.
Would I be Captain Killjoy
or Mister Bringdown
if I quietly vomited on them?
She wants to know
if I’ll attend their marriage.
Not that I’m bitter.
I am bitter, of course,
but that’s not why I refuse.
I just want to know why
she would support the decrepit
and archaic institution of matrimony
when several million people,
one of whom is her best friend,
are not legally able to do the same.
Because two men
or two women
sitting on a loveseat
and engaging in
displays of affection,
and having their union
is a threat to the
hordes of deep eye-gazing
opposite sex marriages in the world.
Because heterosexual marriage is obviously so fragile
that non-heterosexuals can threaten it
simply through imitation.
Because straight marriages
(Newt, Rush, etc...)
have such an astonishing success rate
that the curve will be thrown off
by those silly queers.
Because it is somehow
according to some people
against the word of God.
The very same God
that State was separated from Church
to protect us from.
Once again, we have freedom of religion.
We are free to choose it
or we are free to shut up about it.
Well, I say to you
ladies and gentlemen
that every marriage you engage in
is a slap in the face of those who cannot marry.
If there were a restaurant
a popular restaurant
and only right-handed people were allowed
to spend their hard-earned dollars there
would you go?
What if your left-handed friends
had to stand outside
and watch you eat
and throw rice
upon your exit?
What if these left-handed freaks
had a perfectly good
yet far more expensive restaurant
down the street?
Even though the menu is limited
and the service atrocious
they could just eat there, right?
Marry, if you will
but don’t drag me into it.
The institution of marriage
why must you change your names?
Oh, yes, that’s right
because the you who was
before you met your man
and became whole
was not a real person.
That was your Father’s name
and since you are no longer your Father’s property
you should take on the last name of your new owner
And we all know
that all relationships that have been joined
in holy matrimony
are nurturing, supportive and lasting
(never abusive, unhealthy or transient).
And they aren’t just contracts
to try to force the man
into “taking care of” his newfound responsibility
and not abandoning the helpless
cooking, cleaning, baby-making machine
he has purchased
and paid for in full.
It’s about love.
The kind of love that knows no bounds.
The kind of LOVE that makes all who gaze upon it holy.
The kind of LOVE that needs
AND A PAPER TRAIL.
This love needs proof.
Because, without proof
and approval from the Church
and the families
and the State
how can we know this LOVE is real?
Marriage disgusts me.
But, not having the choice to marry
disgusts me even more.
I won’t rest until marriage is abolished
or I am allowed to don the finery
and eat the cake
at my own wedding.
And, more importantly,
the weddings of my brothers and sisters
whose unions are as holy
and as lasting
as those whose ceremonies
are currently deemed “real”.
my rice is for boiling.
What is YOUR rice for?
Mark E. Rosenthal is co-editor of Cootie
Shots: Theatrical Inoculations
Against Bigotry, and he has been a regular contributor to the Lesbian
News since 2000. Mark has also worked with Fringe Benefits Theatre
Company for 12 years, creating and performing in many Theatres for
Social Justice plays and workshops, and with Fringe Benefits is
currently partnering with Families to Amend California's Three Strikes
(www.FACTS1.com) to illuminate the unjustness of the law as it stands,
and to encourage Californians to vote to amend it in November. Mark
is also co-founder and past President of SMC's United Students for
Fair Trade, and Mark will be transferring toColumbia University
in the fall. You can email Mark at Diwractor@aol.com,
please write SMC VOICES in the subject line.