Actor Missi Pyle and her Smith & Pyle band mate, Shawnee Smith, along with actor/comedian Hal Sparks put a comedic spin on the serious topic of marriage equality (or, more precisely, the lack thereof for gays and lesbians). In a faux marriage ceremony presided over by faux preacher Hal Sparks, Missi Pyle and Shawnee Smith did the deed and got hitched. E!'s Giuliana Rancic, who hosted the event, toasted the happy couple. The faux marriage ceremony is available at You Tube.
The faux ceremony took place at an event to benefit Love Honor Cherish , which recently filed an initiative to repeal Prop 8 and launched a signature drive to get enough signatures for the November 2010 ballot. We Californians will be voting on the issue of marriage equality in the near future and I am still perplexed why anyone would oppose it. Gays and lesbians are legally protected against most forms of discrimination. What is it about marriage?
Do opponents think that denying gay and lesbian couples will reduce the number of gay and lesbian couples? But in our modern society, marriage is hardly essential to forming a committed and sexual relationship, which is clearly demonstrated by the number of straight couples who choose to live together without marriage. And today there is no social stigma to doing so.
Do opponents think that denying marriage to gay and lesbian couples will reduce the likelihood that they will have children? But marriage is no longer a social prerequisite to parenthood. Straight couples and straight singles frequently have children outside of wedlock without social stigma. And gay and lesbian couples will continue to do so even if denied the right to marry.
Do opponents think that only straight couples should be allowed to marry because only they can procreate? If so, they have not paid attention to technological advances in conception. Procreation comes in many forms today, including Petri dishes, artificial insemination, surrogates and other high tech means of conception, and heterosexuals often choose high tech procedures to conceive a child. We are far beyond the time when inner course between a man and woman is necessary to procreate. Moreover, as the judge presiding over the case challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act pointed out, we marry couples who are too old to bear children and think nothing of it.
Do opponents really think that being gay or lesbian is a choice? If so, they are way behind in the science arena. And, even if it were, so what?
Do opponents think that, if gay and lesbian couples are allowed to marry, their own children will be taught to be gay but they won't if gay and lesbians can't get married? If so, they are not paying attention to today's culture. Music, films and TV all acknowledge and incorporate homosexuality into lyrics and characters. Many of TV's most popular shows today prominently feature gay and lesbian characters involved in committed relationships. Many gay and lesbians are open about their sexual preference. Unless opponents keep their children locked up away from normal society, their children are going to find out about it.
Do opponents really think homosexuality is an abomination because the Old Testament says so? If so, they are selectively choosing which parts of the Old Testament is morally binding. If they abided by all provisions of the Old Testament, they would not eat shellfish, they would support slavery, and wives would be totally submissive to their husbands. If these instructions of the Old Testament are not relevant today, then how can they argue that the Old Testament's position on homosexuality is immutable?
Do opponents believe that marriage equality will require that their churches recognize same sex marriage and that they must personally embrace homosexuality? The initiative specifically provides that no religion would be forced to marry gay and lesbian couples. It would apply only to civil marriages. Approval of same sex marriage would only mean that opponents cannot dictate how gay and lesbians live their own private lives.
Do opponents believe that the opposition of the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church to same sex marriage legitimizes their own opposition? While I am Catholic, I am amazed that anyone, given the Catholic Church's known pattern of condoning pedophilia, would look to it as the moral arbiter of appropriate sexual relationships. The Catholic Church's recent threat to reduce social services it provides in the District of Columbia if same sex marriage is legalized only magnifies its hypocrisy. It will stoop to denying aid to the poor and the homeless if it doesn't get its way. And the Mormon Church has had its own issues with moral authority on this subject.
Gays and lesbians are protected against discrimination in housing, in employment and in most aspects of their life (although "don't ask, don't tell" remains out there). So what is it about marriage? Are opponents fearful that this change would somehow hurt them? It is hard to see how encouraging family-based commitment is detrimental. Same sex marriage will not result in job losses, higher taxes, or increase crime. In fact, it would have positive effects on the economy and the overall wellbeing of our communities. Do opponents want to punish homosexuals for being different from them? Our country has had a long history of societal and mean-spirited discrimination against the "other," which in most cases has ultimately been found morally wrong and legally unacceptable. This should be no different.
Maybe Stephen Colbert may have nailed the source for the deep-rooted and inexplicable hostility to same-sex marriage in a recent skit: "these gay zombies start with marriage but really want to control our minds. That's right. These gay zombies want our brains." Is he right, opponents? Is this what you are really afraid of?
The faux marriage ceremony was written and produced by Ashley Terrill and took place at an event at LA's Kitson Melrose on Nov. 18 to launch the All Love Is Equal tee produced by Revenge Is and to support Love Honor Cherish, a LA-based nonprofit, in its campaign to repeal Prop 8. The event kicked off the signature drive to get enough signatures to qualify the initiative to repeal Prop 8 on the November 2010 ballot. Petitions are available to California registered voters for download at www.signforequality.com. The faux ceremony is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5lC6zh4bf0