With This ring Pop “I Thee Wed”

“With this Ring Pop, I thee wed.” OUTspoken, continuing its mission as the progressive political branch of SpectrUM, the GLBTQ (Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer) organization on campus, held “symbolic weddings of love” on the Rock last Tuesday. Everyone, regardless of gender, race, religious persuasion or sexual orientation, was invited to come out and participate in the mock wedding ceremony, complete with marriage certificates, faux reverend and traditional wedding cake with the word “yippee” sprawled across it.

Approximately 40 couples were wed in the ceremony, performed by a “justice of the peace,” with an exchange of vows and Ring Pop wedding rings.

The first couple to get married, Sara Ward and Tiffany Papadonis, said, “We feel absolutely fabulous. It’s ridiculous to say [only] certain people can marry certain people.”

Claiming that marriage is not only a human right and a civil right, but also a legal right, the event protested the Federal Marriage Amendment, the constitutional amendment proposed by President Bush to outlaw gay marriage.

“This event is a symbol of actualizing equal rights under the law – same-sex couples should reserve the right to get married.” -JENNIFER HULL,

OUTspoken co-chair”

“This event is a symbol of actualizing equal rights under the law – same-sex couples should reserve the right to get married,” Jennifer Hull, OUTspoken co-chair, said. “This was not a religious statement and it did not by any means mean to trample on any religion sanctity. It is merely an expression of individual right.”

OUTspoken member and marriage participant Shree Chahuan, junior, commented on the “beautiful setup,” which included flowers, streamers, bouquets, an altar and wedding aisle. Many watched the ceremony from the UC picnic tables in support of the event.

However, some students were in opposition of the “marriage,” and many students declined to comment.

Hull addressed the issue of same-sex couples receiving a “civil union” versus “marriage.”

“Under a marriage a couple may receive some 1,500 rights or privileges, whereas in a civil union, the rights number a regrettable 500.” Hull said. “There needs to be equality,”

Sophomore J.B. Cosby had a different take on the demonstration.

“The proposition for a constitutional amendment is absurd, but the large scale of such oppositions and gay-right support is unnecessary,” Cosby said.

OUTspoken hopes to continue its mission of encouraging political demonstration of equality under the law with the underlying premise that “love is love.”

For more information about OUTspoken, e-mail OUTspokenUM@yahoo.com or call 305-284-5520.

Shelly Garg can be contacted at s.garg@umiami.edu.