Waymon Hudson

Going to the Chapel: We Can Officiate, but Not Get Married

Filed By Waymon Hudson | July 09, 2009 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics, The Movement
Tags: marriage equality, Milwaukee, same-sex marriage, weddings

As you read this, I assume the hubby and I are smashed into an airplane with a crying child and some sassy flight attendants hurling towards Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What brings us to the land of cheese, you may ask?

Logo081401.gifA wedding.

We're not just attending. Anthony is performing the ceremony for our friends, a great straight couple who used to live in our city in Florida. Yet as we were packing and getting ready for some midwest marital fun, something rather odd hit me:

Anthony can legally officiate other people's weddings, but our marriage isn't legal in our own state (or the states he has married other couples in).

For some odd reason, the government recognizes my husband as able to legally bind others together, with all the rights and benefits that entails, yet he doesn't have the capacity to decide for himself who he should marry or be with. And in the few places we are viewed as married after our California nuptials, we still are cut off from the federal benefits of civil marriage. In our own home state, we are legal strangers, yet he can perform other's weddings.

What's wrong with this picture?

I personally think that you should be able to have whoever you choose perform your ceremony- whether it be religious figure, friends, family, or the cruise ship captain- just as I think you should be able to marry whom you choose. Others keep harping about the "sanctity" of marriage, yet for twenty bucks online you can get "ordained" and bestow the "sacred sacrament" of marriage on others.

It all just seems hypocritical and backwards.

It has nothing to do with actually performing the ceremonies. He happily married my sister and her husband and is now doing the same for our friends, but the obvious inequality of it all is staggering.

It seems the government and "traditional marriage" advocates (ugh) want to have their wedding cake and eat it too. Marriage is so holy and historic that you can do it in a drive-thru in Vegas or perform one after a quick online certificate, yet LGBT folks can't even get in on the party.

So we'll be happily celebrating our friends' wedding. I'm sure I'll cry, eat too much cake, and dance the macarena with the best of them. I'll just be doing it with someone the government doesn't recognize as my husband- the very man who has signed the paper allowing others to legally get married.

Pass the champagne...

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You said it. Hypocritical and backward for sure. You should email this story right on over to Anderson Cooper. I think it is very telling.

beachcomberT | July 10, 2009 7:27 AM

Just wondering if your spouse's marrying ability stems from his being clergy, justice of the peace, city clerk or just a notary public. I always thought it odd Florida gives notaries marriage power. On the one hand, the legislature is so self-righteous about "defending" marriage and restricting it to heteros; on the other, it makes sure our tourism industry can make maximum money off instant ceremomonies

it stems from being "clergy"- he got an "ordination" online so he could officiate my sister's wedding in Maryland. Wisconsin, Florida, and other states except it too. It varies from state to state.