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"One Man and One Woman," Really?

During the span of nearly three decades of living, I have attended and been a part of many different weddings. One was Catholic; another was very casual and at home. One was almost pagan; another was in a Baptist church. All of them (save for my own performances, of course!) were pretty darn boring, as you might expect weddings to be. I don’t think they should be this way, but for some reason, people think it’s just the tradition to go with. A wedding must induce sleep! It’s good for the digestion.

But in all of my years, I have never heard the focus on a marriage being about “one man and one woman” so insistently as I heard it today, at my brother-in-law’s wedding. The preacher was new—it was his first ceremony—but very preachy, complete with the whole hellfire and damnation voice and swaying that made me want to barf or pin him still with a giant needle. He talked about obedience, how the husband rules over the home, and a bunch of other things that made me feel like I was on a tour of the Middle Ages in Europe. I kept wondering where the horses were, and if there was any mead left.

He also spoke of marriage being between one man and one woman several times, which was not only unnecessary—duh, there was just one man and one woman standing there in front of us—but also some pretty blatant overkill. It was like he wanted to make sure everyone in the audience knew that in no way was a marriage between anyone but one man and one woman a marriage at all.

I kind of wanted to punch him in the face.

I settled for staring at my sister—the maid of honor—with wide, horrified, angry eyes, which made her alternate between grinning at me and trying not to laugh, since she was in front of everybody. She was just as disgusted as I was.

I made it a point to say loudly afterward that I got ordained years ago to marry gay couples—not that it matters in my bigoted, anti-gay marriage state, of course; at least, not yet—but all I received were some weird looks. I know it sounds stupid, but now all I want to do is go out and marry a whole bunch of LGBT couples—preferably on this preacher’s front lawn. Or maybe I’ll put a chain on my husband and loudly talk about how I’m his master; he would get a big kick out of it, especially if I wear my black lipstick and baby arm mascara.

Seriously, though, when did ministers start adding all of this one-on-one crap to their vows? And is the whole obey your husband crap really necessary in this day and age? It’s about time someone came up with new vows. On the way home, my husband and I were mulling some over; some included serious messages, like being patient with one another and bearing each other’s crazy breakdowns. (I guess that would be like sickness and health?) Others were pretty funny, like “I promise to be the provider of thy nookie.”

So it’s not classy, so what? It’s better than bigotry and equating the bride with a horse to be bought and trained.