Look of the Day -- America’s Happiest Couple

This past April I went to Kim’s house to do my taxes.

When the process was complete I shouted, “This is horseshit! How the hell do I owe the government any money?! I’m broke as it is!!! Come to think of it, why do I have to pay taxes, at all?! Huh?! I don’t get the same rights as the rest of the country, so why do I have to pay the same taxes?! In fact, I’m gonna call and demand that the government return every last penny they’ve already taken out of my 'second class' paycheck!!! Screw this! Those conservative bastards sure as shit think I’m a full-fledged citizen when they mail out my W-2s! Maybe they’ll let me get married on TAX DAY. Huh?! Ya’ think?! When I can get married in the United States of America, we’ll talk, Uncle Sam! Until then…I’M! NOT! PAYING!!!”

Kim poured me another half a glass of chardonnay and said, “I think I remember this tirade from last year.” She lifted her glass. “Good for you. Damn the man.”

I sat, defiant and indignant, while Kim picked over the remnants of our cheese and cracker platter.

“So,” she said, handing me the last mini-rice cake, “Do you want to mail your check right now, or should we set up payment plan?”

The smell of brie and defeat hung, heavy, in the air. Finally, I said, “Payment plan, please. Dammit.”

We’ve all read the statistics. Some studies show that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Obviously, hetero people aren’t taking the sacrament of marriage all that seriously. So why shouldn’t we homos be allowed a crack at it? Huh? Remember when Britney Spears got married in Vegas, then got an annulment 55 hours later? Sanctity of marriage, my ass.

I’ve heard all the arguments against equal rights:

“Marriage is the backbone of our society.”

“Marriage is an institution and is in place so that families can thrive.”

“They don’t call us the Religious ‘Right’ for nothing. The Bible says so, so we say so, too, and what we say, goes. Now if you’ll excuse us, we don’t have time to talk about morality anymore. We have to go fight a war and kill a bunch of people in the Holy Land.”

But I just don’t understand.

I ask, “If marriage is the backbone of our society, why is divorce even an option? Seems like divorce is more a threat to marriage than the gays. Maybe we should outlaw divorce?"

No answer.

I ask, “If marriage is supposed to produce children, why aren’t all reproductively challenged couples forced to annul?”

No answer.

I ask, “The Bible says so? Doesn’t the Bible also say that cotton-polyester blends are an abomination? Not in so many words, obviously… but I’m pretty sure I read something in Sunday school like, "Leviticus 19:19 - You shall not… wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together." (That was, of course, before going to Sunday School started to make my skin blister and sizzle and burn and smoke and all. Awkward.)

No answer.

One of my church-going friends, a straight dude named Paul, told me a story about a recent, post-service Sunday brunch he shared with a few of his fellow congregates. Apparently, while gorging herself on eggs and bacon (“…and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you." Leviticus 11:7), a fat woman shared her opinion about the evils of gay marriage.

Straight Paul remained quiet and polite as long as possible, but eventually, he couldn’t help himself anymore and he snapped, “Oh yeah? Gay marriage is sinful, huh? I think I read somewhere that gluttony is a sin, too. Right? What do you weigh, again? Duece? Duece and a half?”

Awesome. Well played, Paul. Thank you.

But none of that is the point. The point is that last week, the California Supreme Court overturned its discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage and on Friday, Ellen DeGeneres announced that she and her glamazon/bombshell of a girlfriend, Ms. Portia Di Rossi, are planning to wed.

Good for them. Congratulations, ladies! I wish you all the happiness in the world and better odds than the straight folk seem to have!

And since I did file my taxes, maybe I’ll use my economic stimulus check to fly Kim and myself out to California and crash their wedding. Should be a sinfully good time.

- Steven J. Burge


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