The Little Things that Bigotry Affects
I had a hard time getting started on this post. My mind couldn’t wrap itself around how the TN anti-gay marriage amendment weaseled itself into the most mundane aspects of our life.
Back when I first posted on the effects of an amendment within the state, I focused on the obvious problems such as being denied access to or the right to make medical decisions for a partner. Little did I consider at the time, that we wouldn’t even be able to participate in a “vow renewal ceremony” at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival.
There are two issues that bother me immensely with this, aside from the obvious discrimination. One is it’s a vow RENEWAL ceremony for those who are already married. In other words, it’s not legally binding ANYWAY. There will be no marriage certificates signed or issued at this ceremony. Second, the TRF site merely states that the ceremony is for “legally married couples” (at least as of this writing unless they change their website). However, TRF doesn’t clarify that it is a heterosexual only event. Gay couples can be legally married just not in all states.
Here is what TRF site says:
May 12 - 13:Romance WeekendIn the spirit of Romeo & Juliet, love is in
the air, along with many a love ballad. Saturday will feature a vow renewal
ceremony in which legally married couples may register to participate. On Saturday, Mix 92.9 FM will be broadcasting live from 10:00am - Noon. Our Romance Weekend is sponsored by Nashville Scene.
I emailed TRF to inquire about registering for the ceremony. Below is my email:
Regarding "Romance Weekend," how can a couple register for this? My
partner and I were married in Canada and would love to renew our vows.
Our vow renewal ceremony is a group ceremony performed by one of our vendors,
who is an ordained minister. Participants in the ceremony must be legally
married under the state laws of Tennessee. We encourage participants to come in costume. If you are interested, when you arrive on May 12, check in and register at the information/souvenir booth as you walk in.
Tennessee Renaissance Festival
2124 New Castle Rd.
For all the yahooing by the fundamentalists that the amendment wouldn’t hurt us, wouldn’t change anything, but would only reinforce one way over another, this proves that these amendments are insidious.
As an educator and one who has studied history, the Renaissance Festival was always one that I enjoyed attending. Now that my partner and I are having a child, it was something educational I hoped to share with our child. How many other programs and events will we be shut out of because of this amendment?
My first instinct is to protest. It would be wonderful to show up with a crew of other GLBT couples and their kids and have our own ceremony. The other part of me doesn’t want to support this with one of my hard earned red pennies.
What can we do when even the most inane events turn political and personal? What will we do to stop this insanity?