On Thursday, more than 130 students and a couple of administrators protested the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment by participating in OUTspoken’s mock marriages. The couples were heterosexual and homosexual, composed of friends, lovers, boyfriends, girlfriends, roommates-and in the case of Student Government President Pete Maki, who married former President Vance Aloupis-predecessors, all showing their protest of the amendment. In their vows, the couples took their partner “to be my symbolically wedded spouse to protest writing discrimination into the constitution and to demand marriage equality in the United States of America.”
This is the second year that OUTspoken invited everyone, regardless of gender, religious persuasion or sexual orientation, to come out and participate in the mock wedding ceremony, complete with marriage certificates, a faux reverend and traditional wedding cake.
Last year 40 couples took part-this year more than 65 did. While the number of couples is impressive, what is truly astounding was the crowd that watched the marriages on the UC Rock. People cheered and congratulated the newlyweds, just like in any other wedding.
Fortunately, there were no protests-the only exception being a passerby hollering “Shut up, Satan.” This helps to show that while we may not be the most politically active campus (though we are slowly improving), we do understand the importance of tolerance of different views. While the campus may not all agree on the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment and homosexual marriage in general, Thursday demonstrated that we can all support each other in our goals, regardless of our own personal beliefs.
Beyond that, all day students were talking about when they would have time to get married, and whom they would marry. It didn’t matter if you were gay or straight, Greek or non-Greek; it seemed like there was a line to get married during the entire two hours. The marriages also spawned conversation regarding religious and political beliefs and issues related not only to homosexual marriage, but also to things like adoption rights.
The goal of spectrUM’s Spring Awareness Week was to bring the issues facing GLBTQ individuals to light. They by far succeeded. After all, when was the last time you saw two future male Republican politicians exchanging vows?