Life conspired to drop me into the raging cauldron of Vermont civil unions last weekend. I suppose it was a baptism by fire, since all our friends here in North Sodom seem to be getting hitched. The invitations are pouring in I dont know what to wear! My sister, a wedding photographer, reports brisk sales in the "GLBTQA" demographic. But somebody had better come up with some new acronyms, quick, because Im running out of ideas.
What am I supposed to say to other couples in the future? "Oh, Mr. Kurth, how nice to meet you. And Mr. Kurth!" Do I say "groom and groom," bride, partner or what? Is there or should there be any transfer of patriarchal names along with insurance and death benefits? Surely all those Moms I see flying around in vans are using their own names by now? Yes? No?
Oh, dear. On the subject of civil unions, I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. The Duchess will have my whiskers! I can see all points of view, even the hateful, ugly, stupid, Christian ones, the sincerity of anyones private belief being equal, I suppose, to anyone elses. This is why we have a Constitution, but leave that aside. Personally, I wouldnt get married again if they outlawed it completely, which is the only thing that could make it appealing to me. My partner, bless his heart, feels the same way, and besides, neither of us wants to assume the others health-care bills.
I suspect that many of my "G" and "L" friends and, lets face it, theyre the only GLBTQA folk I actually know are tying the knot at this juncture out of solidarity and support for the civil-union law. I say "at this juncture" because those animals in Montpelier, who cant get sex off their minds, have been on the attack. Damned if the House didnt try to outlaw gay marriage, defining which person with which body can marry what person with a different body, just so long as they are different. This puts all the stress of marriage on sex, an odd position for religious people. Theyre all different, believe me.
I have this for a fact, as I used to encounter so many married men in places where gay men congregate. It may have been dark, but the glint of gold was always there, on their fingers or in their frightened eyes. I dont meet these men anymore, but thats because I dont meet anyone anymore. Except the other night when, in my first venture out in decades, I swear, I also attended my first civil union.
I could call it a civil-union "ceremony," the way other people talk about marriage or wedding ceremonies. But it was more than that, because it was, you know, legal. So it wasnt just a ceremony. Thats only assumed to be the case at marriages and weddings, I believe, just as the bride and the groom are only assumed to be male and female, and to desire only each other in the, uh, biological way.
Anyhow, my partner and I went to this really lovely civil union Saturday night, done up just the way guys like it, with a harpist, a waiter to die for and candles floating in little bowls. It was a departure from the commitment ceremonies of the past, of which Ive been to plenty, thank you. It was a departure because it had something those others didnt, which is legitimacy, and the shared knowledge of legitimacy. Only those who never had it can know what legitimacy is and does. Ask any "bastard."
Now, as I said, Im against marriage, and I have been ever since I got divorced. This is no comment on anyone elses life, as I hope they know, but Im entitled to my opinions because this is America, and because well, this is America. If it werent, wed be a lot quicker out of this civil-union thicket, as they are, or shortly will be, in all civilized countries.
Get this: Paris, France, has an openly gay mayor! In China, theyve taken homosexuality off the list of psychiatric disturbances and handed it over to consumers gay sex may be dirty, but theres nothing wrong with it. (Got that?) In Holland, thanks to pressure from a lot of Ls, I imagine, the sex-and-gender thing has been removed from all lawful coupling. Now, anyone who gets married in Holland, or united in a civil way, is automatically a "spouse" (rhymes with louse).
In the meantime, an email from "VFTMTF" and "VCULDF" please, there isnt room alerts me to the attempt of Rep. Peg Flory (R-Awful), chair of our House Judiciary Committee, to overturn Vermonts civil-union law by replacing it with "reciprocal partnerships." Im to fight this by showing up in Montpelier wearing my "pink sticker." Alas, Ill be "out of town."
Rep. Flory says she wants her bill to take "sexual orientation" out of law. I want them to take it out of everything or, rather, put it back where it was, make it "personal" again. And make it a little dangerous, too, please, because that was half the fun and most of the excitement.
For that matter, I wish John and I could adopt our cats and leave them everything, since they already have it. I speak as an "elder" here. If theyve come up with a word to describe "a fiftyish homophile male who doesnt give a damn," its a word I could use in the same way "crone" is used to describe well, ask a crone.