Scene: At the County Clerk’s Office, Yesterday

By Adam Ford

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: [To government clerk, with smiling faces] “Sir, we want to make a lifelong commitment to each other and start a family, will you please issue us a state marriage license.”

Conservative Culture Warrior: [Barging through door and pushing between the couple and the counter] “You can’t change the definition of marriage!”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “You can define “marriage” however you want. You don’t have to consider our commitment a ‘marriage’—you can call it whatever you want. Whatever makes you happy. But [turning back to government employee] can we please have our license?”

Conservative Culture Warrior: [Waiving his hands in front of the clerk] “No, no, no. Just go get a ‘civil union’. I’m here to save ‘marriage’ from being radically and wickedly redefined!”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “Well you can call something a ‘civil union’ if you want, but the government shouldn’t. Separate is not equal, as our history shows us. In the eyes of the law, in this government office, all citizens are constitutionally guaranteed equal protection. We want the same certificate everyone else gets.”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “But you are destroying the family!”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “I’m really sorry you feel that way. If there is anything we are doing that is hurting you, please let us know. How is your family being destroyed?”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “Well, you are not destroying my specific family. But the ‘family’ is under assault! Society is about to collapse!”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “I don’t understand what all these doomsday metaphors mean. Can you show us any data about how our getting married would cause any harm to anyone?”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “You gays should have to prove there will be no harm before government even considers redefining marriage.”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “Shouldn’t the default position in America be against government discrimination in its operations and in favor of freedom? The side that wants government to withhold marriage licenses from part of the petitioning population has the burden of proof to show the compelling justification for the discrimination. If our marriage would really hurt people, show it and you will win.”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “Well, I have no actual data showing harm, but my religion makes clear that what you two do in your bedroom is a very serious sin. So I really don’t want you to get married.”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “You do realize that we are going to go home to our bedroom anyway, with the state license or not? Preventing gays from marrying will not stop gay sex.”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “Please do not say that out loud. I feel yucky even seeing you guys hold hands in public—it makes me think about sodomy and that is really disgusting. I don’t want to see or hear from you. Just go away and hide yourselves. Why can’t we go back to the good-old days when there were no homosexuals around?”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “Well, we were always around. Sometimes we never married and hid our feelings for the duration of our lives. Sometimes we married a member of the opposite sex and had children because it was expected of us. This deceit often made us, and our spouses, miserable. Sometimes we felt trapped and confused and we killed ourselves—this happened quite often. It might have been better for you in those old days, but for us it was a dark and lonely hell.”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “Well, you are going to burn in hell.”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “I . . . I don’t have anything to say to that . . . [Turning back to government clerk] May we please have a marriage license issued by the government of this state?”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “Wait! Wait! Let’s vote on it. If enough people think being gay is evil and counter to God’s plan I can still save marriage! Historically lots and lots of people have thought homosexuality is really horrible. Let’s vote!”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “In America we don’t vote on rights. We believe they are inherent. When our government infringes on rights, our courts strike down the law and enjoin the discrimination. And do you realize that the public mood is shifting and gay marriage is beginning to win at the ballot box?—Three states voted to allow same sex marriage last fall. People are realizing that our happiness does not destroy yours.”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “Really? Three states? Well, if we can’t stop it, government should get out of the marriage business altogether. Government shouldn’t be administering this holy sacrament of my church anyway.”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “Marriage predates your church. And governments do not administer religious sacraments. We just want a marriage license so we can have the assurance of our partner’s help in raising children via child support and alimony obligations, we want automatic probate and estate tax rights, we want to file a joint tax return. We want a government marriage license issued by the state. Keep your religious sacrament, but please take it out of this government office and back into your church. Please? Besides, our church celebrates our marriage and our Pastor is going to preform our marriage.”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “Your Pastor is sick and wrong.”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “Are you saying our church can’t engage in the free exercise of religion as it sees fit?”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “You have no right to marry.”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “Citizens in America don’t have to prove their rights exist; our government has to prove it has a compelling reason to discriminate against a class of people like the gay community to which we belong.”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “Whatever. You are going to hell and homosexuality is evil, but, I want the record to be clear: I love you. I hate your sexual identification and I hate your deviant, disgusting behavior and I hate your desire to marry and I hate your plans to adopt and I hate the unnatural twisted feelings that you have towards your equally deluded partner, both of you deceived by Satan. But I love you. Just to be clear. I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding.”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: “We don’t feel very loved by you.”

Conservative Culture Warrior: “That is because you are intolerant and hateful towards us rich older conservative Christians. You have no idea how we suffer being forced to endure a society in which deviants are becoming accepted members. We are the persecuted minority now. Our tax exempt statuses might even someday be at risk!”

Deeply in love gay couple who want to get married: [Slowly shakes head, turns and speaks to the government clerk.] “Sir, we want to make a lifelong commitment to each other and start a family, will you please issue us a state marriage license?”

The answer of the clerk is pending.

. . . . . .

Adam Ford is an attorney practicing at Ford & Huff with offices in New York, Washington D.C, and Utah. He is married with six children from 16 to 7 years old. Adam currently serves as a gospel doctrine teacher and ward employment specialist and also sits on the board of the Sunstone Education Foundation.

2 comments for “Scene: At the County Clerk’s Office, Yesterday

  1. steph
    April 5, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Amazing! So patient and articulate and irrefutable. Beautiful. Thank you good soul.

  2. Erin
    April 10, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I loved this! Thank you.

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