The following article was one that I originally wrote for the September, 2010 issue of Outlooks magazine. Although I’ve now already celebrated my first wedding anniversary, I figured this would be a worthwhile time to reflect on a very special group of lobbyists that tried their hardest to force us out of a wedding in the first place. Enjoy!
So, I’m getting married in a week. A gay wedding. Exciting, right? I’m pretty nervous about the whole thing, too. Don’t get me wrong. The commitment part is kind of a no-brainer. I’m just worried that if things aren’t handled just right, grave consequences will hang on my conscience forever.
Let me explain. My wedding, I’ve discovered, has upset a large number of people. To my credit, I don’t think this was my fault; I simply hadn’t assumed that so many strangers would feel so passionately about my relationship.
I suppose the problems started about a year before my fiancé and I made the plans official. Although my wedding had been made a legal possibility many years earlier, REAL Women of Canada and the Canada Family Action Coalition jointly issued a press release announcing that they’d be seeking a national referendum on our marriage. Lots and lots of people that I’ve never met, they said, didn’t think my fiancé and I were a very good fit. Apparently, we ought to have asked everyone in Canada first.
I wasn’t too keen on the whole referendum thing, personally. We preferred our wedding to be a small, private event. And, while polls strongly suggested that most Canadians would be fine with our plans, it seemed like a pretty big inconvenience to ask everyone individually. The referendum never happened, luckily, but there were still obstacles.
The year we got engaged, Focus On The Family Canada, the Institute For Canadian Values, and the Canada Family Action Coalition were apparently so displeased with our lack of consultation about the wedding details that they started a campaign for an official, royal commission on our marriage. A group of commissioners working without government intervention, they suggested, should be ordered to intimately study my relationship with my fiancé and report back to the queen’s representatives with recommendations. The outcome, the lobbyists hoped, would be to cancel our wedding.
I guess this one really took me off guard. My financé and I had already given ample thought to formalizing our relationship and commitment, but perhaps we were missing something. A royal commission was pretty serious stuff, after all. There had only been two such commissions launched in Canada in the last ten years: One about the Air India bombing (Canada’s largest terrorist incident), and another about the future of health care. The mere prospect of such a costly inquiry made me anxious.
If I had to pinpoint the greatest cause of stress, though, I think it was Conservative MP Harold Albrecht. His blunt statement helped me grasp the unintended gravity of our plans. Our wedding, he declared, “will succeed in wiping out an entire society in just one generation.”
All of society?
My mind frantically raced, searching for what detail I could have possibly overlooked to cause such a disaster. Was the frosting that we had selected for our wedding cupcakes too bold of a colour, capable of sparking a cascading, mass seizure—wherein one guest would be thrown into epileptic fits so grotesque that all those within view would share the same fate? Maybe the outdoor location we had chosen was part of a sensitive ecosystem, jeopardizing the survival of important phytoplanktons, collapsing Earth’s food chain from the bottom up? Or maybe we had inadvertently planned the greatest wedding ever—an event so perfect that it ended the tradition of marriage completely, removing the only construct capable of ensuring the continuation of human reproduction (according to some).
All seemed a little far fetched, but what else could our small wedding celebration do to result in such horrifying consequences? All these lobby groups seemed so sure, and were wasting no expense in trying to end our ceremony.
Luckily, Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary offered a hint to help me pinpoint what the source of the problem could be. My upcoming wedding, he announced to a forum called “Let’s Talk About Children’s Rights,” was “the worst betrayal of children’s rights I’ve ever seen; even more so than the Catholic church sex scandals.”
Children! How could I have missed it? This was truly a disaster, and I fear that all of it was, indeed, my fault. Having approved one of our reception’s meal options without having inspected it personally, I couldn’t be certain that the side dish wasn’t, in fact, made of children. In retrospect, this seems like an odd choice for a restaurant to have offered me in the first place, but I should have inquired more closely about the Succulent Rack of Soylent Chops before adding it to the menu. And now, with only a week to go, I can’t make any changes or substitutions.
It’s an inexcusable oversight, if it turns out to be true, but an oversight nonetheless. To play it safe, my fiancé and I will do our very best to alert guests that one of the meal options may possibly be made of children. This will hopefully deter our guests from consuming too many.
So, with that taken care of, I have this to say to the lobby groups: Kindly buzz off. My wedding is none of your business; you have no stake in it, and your attempts to suggest otherwise don’t hold water. So leave us—and everyone else celebrating their commitments to each other—alone.