That gays cannot marry in most of the world isn't just unfair — it's ripe for satire. Which explains this pair of stunts being pulled: An American who's going to marry a stranger to highlight how heterosexual marriage is not an institution of anything, and a straight Austrian couple that's battling to be able to enter a civil union that's reserved for gays only there, because the gays don't get the M-word. Bring on the funnies!
Brian Feldman, of Florida, says that tomorrow he's going to marry someone he has no romantic interest in, no desire to have kids with, and absolutely no plans of staying by her side until death do them part — not that any of it will keep he and Hannah Miller from securing a marriage license at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando. How's he find Hannah? She showed up at the county clerk's office on Monday, one of only two candidates who responded to Feldmen's request for an opposite-sex stranger to take part. (Feldman says he's certain he's met his soon-to-be wife before, somehow.) As Brian, a performance artist by nature, explains in his Facebook page:
Is this entire project a mockery of marriage? Not at all! It’s completely within the legal rights of Brian and any other heterosexual couple with $123.50 (plus $6 for a standard marriage certificate). Sound absurd? Not nearly absurd as denying the equal right to marry for same-sex couples who truly care about each other; who’ve been in committed, productive and, most importantly, loving relationships for upwards of 20+ years. That, to Brian, and millions of Americans who believe in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, is truly absurd – to say nothing of a civil injustice.
And then there's a Vienna couple, represented by attorney Helmut Graupner, who is going to try to secure a civil union license, which since January have been reserved for same-sex couples in Austria. If they're denied a license, they're going to appeal to the country's constitutional court in a case outlining how marriage discrimination works both ways. Relays IOL: "Graupner said their aim was to have both the traditional civil union and the registered partnership opened to all, regardless of sexual orientation. By choosing a 'gay marriage' rather than the traditional version, the couple would have the advantage of less strict rules in the event of a divorce. But gay rights advocates have criticised the new registered partnership because it does not allow homosexuals to adopt children and or have in-vitro fertilisation. Consequently, Graupner said he was also representing gay and lesbian couples wishing to have civil ceremonies currently reserved for heterosexuals."