Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Gay Tin Can Ban
Bush tries for tin can dragging law
The Bush administration, sensing it needs a backup plan should it fail to get a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, intends to make it illegal for just-married gay couples to tie tin cans to the backs of their cars.
Feeling the heat from a court decision in Massachusetts upholding the right of gays to marry, and the recent flurry of gay weddings in San Francisco in defiance of California law, the White House is determined to make some aspect- any aspect- of marriage off-limits to gays and lesbians.
President George W. Bush has set his sights on the practice of taking tins- the kind that typically contained soup or beans or stew at one time- and linking them together with string, then attaching them to a car bumper.
"I think," the President said in a news conference recently, "we're all familiar with the joyous sound of empty cans rattling along the pavement behind an automobile as it pulls away from the church."
"It's long been recognized," said a White House spokesperson, "that this is a traditional aspect of the post-wedding. This adminstration is committed to preserving the tin-can tradition as a sacred aspect of the marriage ritual, and that it should only happen behind a car occupied by one man and one woman."
The Republicans, backed by the religious right and pro-family groups, believe the wholesome tradition of tin-can dragging is under attack from those who believe it's a suitable activity for gay and lesbian couples.
"When I see a gay or lesbian couple driving off on their honeymoon, tin cans trailing behind the car, I see the end of civilization as we know it," said the Rev. Jerry Falwell.
The administration, still considering its options should the tin-can amendment fail to pass, is instructing its legal experts to determine whether it can ban, at same-sex ceremonies, such activities as rice throwing, glass clinking to make the newlyweds kiss, and bouquet tossing.
"Just leave us with something," the White House spokesperson said. "Understand, this adminstration believes in equal rights for gays, but we may have to draw the line, for example, at one gay person carrying another gay person across the threshold."
The Republicans say that while the man traditionally carries the woman across the threshold, if a woman wanted to carry her new husband across the threshold, and were capable of it (think Liza Minnelli and David Gest in happier times), they wouldn't pass a law against it. But if both partners are of the same sex, they should walk through the door together, then close it behind them immediately, lock it, and nail some boards across it if they've got a hammer handy.
"We don't think that's asking a lot," said the White House. "I mean, come on, throw us a bone here."
Asked for her thoughts, Britney Spears, a noted singer and dancer, said she believes strongly in the tin-can tradition, but pointed out that when she was recently married for several hours, there was not time to string several cans together and attach them to a bumper. Instead, she and her beloved tossed a few empy Coors Lite cans out the car window.
Right-wing groups in the U.S. have said they're prepared to go all the way to the Supreme Court over the tin-can issue.
The White House says it might permit gay and lesbian newlyweds to drag plastic containers- the kinds used for pop and maple syrup and fabric softener- which don't make as much of a racket, and wouldn't draw as much attention.
"The advantage here," the White House said, "is that many of these containers have built-in handles, thereby making the stringing process even more convenient. We're hopeful the gay and lesbian community will embrace this compromise."
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