There’s been a lot of finger-pointing about who’s to blame for Proposition 8 passing in California and killing marriage rights there, but I find it all a bit distasteful. The Mormon Church gave a ton of money, other minorities didn’t see any similarity to their own past struggles and voted mostly in favor of it, and a ton of straight white people did what they’ve been doing for ages. There’s plenty of blame to go around, so I think it’s obvious what the serious thinkers among us need to focus on: Those poor straight couples who suffered so during the six months marriage was legal in California!
In what reads like a brilliant story from The Onion, but sadly it’s something a real newspaper actually covered. Self-described “traditionalists” Rachel Bird and Gideon Codding were offended by the replacement of “bride” and “groom” with “party A” and “party B,” so they crossed out the new terms and wrote the old ones. When they were informed you can’t do that (much like you can’t change any of the other words in a legal document!), they gave up and only got married religiously, not legally. Now they’re having some problems (quotes rearranged for clarity):
On Sept. 3, the couple received a letter from the Placer County Clerk-Recorder Registrar of Voters informing them that their license did not comply with California law and that the state did not accept licenses that had been altered. The couple had 10 days to complete a duplicate form.
The couple say they have no intention of signing the forms. …
Because their marriage is not registered with the state, Bird cannot sign up for Codding’s medical benefits or legally take his name. They are now exploring their options. …
“We just feel that our rights have been violated,” (Bird) said.
I can’t make this stuff up.
For those of you not paying attention, their predicament is exactly that of gay couples all over the country. Except, of course, for that fact that they could have gotten married any time they wanted to, they just didn’t. I don’t think there’s enough sarcasm in the world for me to describe how I feel about their plight, but let’s just say that I don’t pity them.
Luckily for me, I can’t help but see the hilarity of it as well. If you swapped a gender, this story would read exactly the way it is for many people with no legal recourse. But wow, it sure must have been hard for Bird and Codding. Picking up that pen is so difficult!
“We feel that some things are worth fighting for,” said Gideon Codding, 29.
Some things are indeed. Fight for the majority! Don’t let that pesky equal protection get you down!
(For the record, I’m white, mostly Germanic, and I studied German for five semesters. But just because I think it’s nifty. And I like French much better.)