...are planning a protest designed to drive home the absurdity of denying marriage licenses to gays and lesbians. Same-sex couples are going to apply for marriage licenses this Friday morning at the City Marriage Bureau in New York and, after their applications are rejected, one opposite-sex couple—a gay man and a lesbian—will apply for and receive a marriage license. Here's the plan for the action this Friday in NYC:
A gathering of same-sex marriage equality proponents for a press conference and rally in the park opposite the bureau; The application—and subsequent rejection—of several same-sex couples hoping to obtain a marriage license inside of the bureau; The application—and subsequent approval—of a lesbian and gay man, whom according to New York State law may legally marry each other, for a marriage license; and a significant act of civil disobedience to rival the lunch-counter sit-ins of the 1960s, in which black Americans asserted their rights of equal treatment by society at large.
If part of that plan sounds familiar—a gay man and a lesbian getting a marriage license?—it's because a co-worker and I did it here back in 2004...
The clerk called over her manager, a nice older white man, who explained that Amy and Sonia couldn't have a marriage license. So I asked if Amy and I could have one—even though I'm gay and live with my boyfriend, and Amy's a lesbian and lives with her girlfriend. We emphasized to the clerk and her manager that Amy and I don't live together, don't love each other, and don't plan to have kids together, and that we're going to go on living and sleeping with our same-sex partners after we get married. So could we still get a marriage license? "Sure," the license-department manager said, "If you've got $54, you can have a marriage license."
Amy and Sonia and I didn't show up at the county building last Friday because we were planning to sue. We came to make a point about the absurdity of our marriage laws. Amy can't marry Sonia, I can't marry Terry—why? Because the sanctity of marriage must be protected from the queers! But Amy and I can get a marriage license and enter into a sham marriage, if we care to, a joke marriage, one that I promise you won't produce children. And we can do this with the state's blessing—why? Because one of us is a man and one of us is a woman. Who cares that one of us is a gay man and one of us is a lesbian?
So marriage has to be protected from the homos—unless, of course, the homos marry each other.
The New York activists—a new group called Queer Rising—is also planning acts of civil disobedience for Friday. I'm all for it. I'm all for gay men and lesbians obtaining marriage licenses to demonstrate the absurdity of bans on "gay marriage" and I've already called for acts of civil disobedience. It's time, people.