Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Anti-Wedding Transcript

Jennifer (wearing a Snuggie):

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join together in matrimony this man and this woman, united in their opposition to political and economic systems of repression and hierarchy; their dedication to class treason and civil disobedience; and their appreciation of the importance of good dental hygiene.

Theirs is a union founded upon a commitment to activism, anti-patriarchy, and the destruction of church and state. They share a kindred passion for egalitarianism, a disgust for heedless consumption, and a reluctance to further burden our already fragile ecosystem through reckless procreation. Today we celebrate their hopes, dreams and aspirations as they unite in a marriage of pragmatism and convenience, of possible monetary benefit, and of admitted probable impermanence.

Let us open this ceremony by inviting Amanda, the maid of honour, to come forward and read a passage that means a great deal to the happy couple. Amanda will be reading an excerpt from Emma Goldman's writings on love and marriage, found in her 1917 “Anarchism and Other Essays.”

Amanda (as a giant banana):

Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendour and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and colour. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root. If, however, the soil is sterile, how can marriage make it bear fruit? It is like the last desperate struggle of fleeting life against death.

Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful moulder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage?


Thank you, Amanda. And now I'd like to call forward the best man, Kelsey, who will be reading a passage from Deuteronomy, chapter 22, verses 13-30.

Kelsey (as Waldo):

Suppose a man marries a young woman, and later decides he doesn't want her. So he makes up false charges against her, accusing her of not being a virgin when they got married. If this happens, the young woman's parents are to take the bloodstained wedding sheet that proves she was a virgin, and they are to show it in court to the town leaders. Her father will say to them, “I gave my daughter to this man in marriage, and now he doesn't want her. He has made false charges against her, saying that she was not a virgin when he married her. But here is the proof that my daughter was a virgin; look at the bloodstains on this wedding sheet!” Then the town leaders are to take the husband and beat him. They are also to fine him a hundred pieces of silver and give the money to the young woman's father, because the man has brought disgrace on an Israelite woman. Moreover, she will continue to be his wife, and he can never divorce her for as long as he lives.

But if the charge is true and there is no proof that she was a virgin, then they are to take her out to the entrance of her father's house, where the men of the city are to stone her to death. She has done a shameful thing among our people by having intercourse before she was married, while she was still living in her father's house. In this way, you will get rid of this evil.

If a man is caught having intercourse with another man's wife, both of them are to be put to death. In this way, you will get rid of this evil.

Suppose a man is caught in a town having intercourse with a young woman who is engaged to someone else. You are to take them outside the town and stone them to death. She is to die because she did not cry out for help, although she was in a town, where she could have been heard. And the man is to die because he had intercourse with someone who was engaged. In this way you will get rid of this evil.

Suppose a young man out in the countryside rapes a young woman who is engaged to someone else. Then only the man is to be put to death; nothing is to be done to the woman, because she has not committed a sin worthy of death. This case is the same as when one man attacks another man and murders him. The man raped the engaged woman in the countryside, and although she cried for help, there was no one to help her.

Suppose a man is caught raping a young woman who is not engaged. He is to pay her father the bride price of fifty pieces of silver, and she is to become his wife, because he forced her to have intercourse with him. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

No man is to disgrace his father by having intercourse with any of his father's wives.


Thank you, Kelsey. (To Jacquie and Rob) May those words from the Good Book provide you with comfort, direction and guidance as you embark on your life's journey together.

(To the camera/congregation) And now, the couple will read vows that they themselves have prepared. (Rob passes his bouquet to Kelsey)

Jacquie (as Rob Halford):

I, Jacquie, take you, Rob, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have, to hold and to financially support from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until such a time as our political paradigms become incompatible and we amicably part, resolving to remain friends and to set each other up with other fellow radicals who could help us continue The Plan.

I promise to share with you my joy and my sorrows, my successes and failures, and also my access to health and dental benefits, including but not limited to 70% of eligible prescription drugs, 70% of paramedical services such as massage therapy and naturopathy, 100% of contact lens or eyeglass expenses up to a maximum of $125/year, and basic insurance coverage for accidental death or dismemberment.

I promise to love you, comfort you, and keep you, for as long as we both find the relationship sufficiently fulfilling to justify its continued existence. This is my solemn vow

Rob (wearing a white lace wedding dress):

I Robert, ask you, Jacquie, to be my lawfully wedded wife. I promise to give according to my abilities and take only according to my needs. I promise to be your equal partner and respect and nurture you without infringing upon your sense of personal identity. I promise that I will respect your agency and never demand any form of obedience from you. I promise to stay married to you for as long as our partnership continues to be mutually beneficial. I promise to save the world, bit by bit, every day, according to the tenets of The Plan. Finally, I promise to utilize a multi-systems analysis that encompasses radical perspectives on gender, sexuality, race and class when debating and theorizing about issues of pronounced political import. This is my solemn vow.


(To Amanda) May I have the rings, please?

In keeping with the declarations you have made, you give and you receive these rings. Jacquie, will you place this ring on Rob's finger and repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed.

Jacquie: With this ring, I thee wed.

Rob, will you place this ring onto Jacquie's finger and repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed.

Rob: With this ring, I thee wed.

I now call upon the wedding couple and their witnesses to make this legal as we sign the marriage registry. As we do so, Kelsey will serenade us with a song of great significance to the bride and groom, originally composed by the self-appointed gods of metal, Judas Priest.

(Jacquie and Rob sign the registry, followed by Amanda. Amanda takes the registry and pen over to Kelsey, who then signs it, and resumes playing “Breaking the Law”.)

Thank you, Kelsey. Jacquie and Rob, having witnessed your vows for each other with all who have assembled here, I now solemnize this marriage: by the power vested in me, however unwisely, by the Province of Manitoba, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.

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