Against the grain: throwing rice at a gay wedding

By on February 5, 2004

“I believe we should respect individuals,” the President begins as he defines his stance on the “sanctity of marriage.” The irony was probably lost on him as he made clear that the rights of homosexuals were not included within the “moral tradition that defines marriage.” This same tradition “also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God’s sight,” so they ought to know. Is that not what the Statue of Bigotry says?

Bush stressed the importance of the Defense of Marriage Act which forbade any “state, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe” to lawfully respect “a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage…” It is estimated that the federal government offers around 1,000 different benefits to married couples. Some of these include immigration rights, insurance advantages, tax exemptions, social security benefits, health care benefits, hospital visitation and notification, and inheritance rights.

The particular region of controversy was a conflict with Article IV of the Constitution, namely Section 1 that states, “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.” In the December, 2003 ruling of the Goodrige v. Dept. of Health case in Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court found that it would be a violation of the state’s constitution to prohibit gay marriage.

The delicate phrasing of the word has become the source of some fancy rhetorical footwork, especially in the Democratic primary race. Although former governor of Vermont Howard Dean has drawn controversy for a civil unions law that went into effect in July, 2001, he is against gay ‘marriage’. He was clear to make the distinction that in Vermont they “have full civil marriage rights (for gays and lesbians), we just don’t call it marriage.”

According to the Vermont Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz there is a little more to the definition of the term ‘spouse’. Markowitz’s document on the civil union law reads that “a party to a civil union is included, by law, in any definition or use of the terms “spouse,” ” family,” “immediate family,” “dependent,” “next of kin,” and other terms that denote the spousal relationship, as those terms are used throughout Vermont law.”

I fail to see how a homosexual marriage would dishonor a heterosexual one and how this blatant disregard for human rights is not of more concern to our current administration. I wonder why our elected representatives are so threatened by the idea of throwing rice at a gay wedding? You know the pigeons’ stomachs don’t swell and burst- it’s only a myth.


About S. Flavius Mercurius