Action Alert!

ain't love grand?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 17, 2004

Last month OTR made the half-serious suggestion that nothing in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's same-sex marriage decision prevents two cellmates from being joined in holy matrimony and in the privileges thereunto appertaining. Now the other half of the seriousness has made its appearance:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. Two male inmates at Fountain prison near Atmore have sued the state in hopes of getting married, despite a prohibition in state law and no precedent for a married couple behind bars.

The inmates, Darius Chambers and Jonathan Jones, acted as their own attorney in the suit. They argue that the state law banning same-sex marriages violates their constitutional rights of due process and free speech. "This court must not allow the alleged sexual morals of a society filled with bias to be the scales of balance," they wrote in their five-page lawsuit.

More disconcerting is the legal precariousness of the state's rejoinder:

In response, Attorney General Troy King's staff argued that nothing in the federal constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

I read the AG to mean that, lacking a statute legitimizing same-sex unions, Alabama happens (for now) to be exempt from the requirement to issue licenses for the same. In other words, it's only a matter of time before the exemption is forfeit. One can imagine all too well the account of the inevitable wedding in the "Vows" section of the Sunday New York Times:

"Pansies and Passionflowers" provided the theme for the nuptials of Darius Chambers and Jonathan Jones, who exchanged vows last Saturday in a intimate "at home" ceremony at their residence near Atmore. The Rev'd 66074-82, S.J., who resides with Chambers and Jones and whose full name may not be disclosed for reasons of personal protection, officiated.

The groom wore an orange V-neck cotton-polyester jumpsuit with a velcro waistband and carried a bouquet of flowers fashioned from lavender Kleenex. So did the groom. The maiden-of-honour, Mr. Rasheed "Kand E Katt" Slocum, also of Atmore, sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" and an aria of his own composition,"Nose 2 de Flo," as the couple lit candles from his Bic and, in a traditional exchange of affection, each carved his initials in the other's forearm with a fork.

Father 66074-82 spoke of the meaning and beauty of sacramental love, of the challenges of commitment, and of Alabama's pending legislation to lower the age of consent. The couple intends to honeymoon locally.

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 17, 2004 9:21 PM ET USA

    Well it shouldn't be hard to find a fellow inmate who is a validly ordained Catholic priest...

  • Posted by: - Apr. 17, 2004 8:06 PM ET USA

    Diogenes, I was very disappointed that Wind Beneath My Wings trumped that Whitney Houston number from her Bodyguard movie.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 17, 2004 4:53 PM ET USA

    A Jesuit. Wouldn't you know it.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Apr. 17, 2004 3:50 PM ET USA

    Marriage has already been defined by God as a life-giving, unitive covenant between a man & a woman. If someone or some gov. agency seeks to re-define marriage by removing the life-giving character, thus removing children/family from the defintion, then it's open season on marriage & on the family; & we'll soon see people marrying their dog, cat or hamster, for then it's just about a relationship, without responsibilities/obligations to anyone, devoid of Reason & Faith, a real mind-body split.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 17, 2004 2:28 PM ET USA

    Diogenes, Miss Manners would be proud of such a well-worded nuptial announcement. It is highly amusing until, of course, it becomes a reality.