Barney: I do not support this!
James: What? Gay marriage?
Barney: No, Marriage!
—How I Met Your Mother, “Single Stamina” (11/27/06)
I’ve had numerous gay friends in my adult life (in my high school life, too, but they weren’t telling then), but recently I had the chance to attend my first gay wedding.
The grooms in question are friends of ours who live nearby. They moved in about a year ago, and announced a short while back that they were getting married.
The catch, of course, is that in Maryland, you can BE married to someone of the same sex, however you can’t GET married to them. Maryland will recognize a marriage performed elsewhere, though. Maybe this was a “small steps” increment which went over better politically, I don’t know. But OK. So they made plans to go out-of-state and get the “official, legal, piece-of-paper” wedding done and over with, and then they arranged to have a bigger deal among family and friends here at home.
Wife and I have plenty of experience with throwing the big parties at home, so they came to us and we gave them some advice, some of which they took and some which they didn’t. No harm, no foul either way: it wasn’t going to affect their relative success or failure, you know?
The “official” wedding took place during the day on Friday, in what I’m sure was an extremely Federal-looking building down in Washington, DC, with only a few friends and family in attendance. By Friday night, however, the party had already begun. I’d been at a friend’s house, working on his computer, but when I got home at about 10:30 I heard Wife’s voice carrying from their back yard, so I strolled over. That launched two hours of drinking and chattering, after which Wife and I went home. We were told later on that some of them were up until 3:00.
The Big Day itself, we were running back and forth, helping them to get their stuff together and putting some of the last details in place for the event. They’d invited people to come over mid-afternoon, then there’d be another ceremony, in front of all their family and friends (those who were able to come, at least), and then the wild rumpus could begin.
At one point Wife asked where the ceremony itself would take place, and someone pointed to a spot at the back of the yard. “Oh, that’s so plain,” she said. “We have to do something about that.” She and I had recently been kicking around the idea of purchasing an arbor for the back yard, so we decided to finally pull the trigger and make the purchase, assemble the thing and put it in their back yard for the ceremony. It looks kind of like the one to the right, except ours is made of metal and can be staked to the ground. Fortunately for us, assembly took only about twenty minutes. We carried the completed arbor to their back yard, which they thought was great. Then we ran back to our yard and grabbed a couple of plastic urns in which we’d planted flowers, and flanked the arbor with them. For a final touch we grabbed a pair of the dozen or so tiki torches that were around the yard and put them to either side as well. Instant Wedding Canopy!
The ceremony was great, and I think this particular couple, upon sealing their vows with the kiss, received the longest sustained applause of any wedding I’ve been to. And, of course, the after-party was fantastic. Not only because this particular event had a higher-than-average percentage of good-looking women to scope out, but (also) because I think we made ourselves a few new friends that weekend.
The next morning we went over and I made breakfast for something like fourteen people (who were all drifting in, one at a time, as they woke up), and we got in a little post-party chatter before everyone went back home, or wherever their destination was for the day. And a great time was had by all.
To cap this post off, I’m reproducing the piece below. Despite my research, I couldn’t nail down the source.
Ten Reasons Gay Marriage is Un-American
- Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
- Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
- Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
- Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
- Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
- Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.
- Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
- Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.
- Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
- Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.
Best Wishes to the Happy Couple! And thanks for bringing our stuff back!