The first published writer I ever met was Angus Wilson, a bouffant-haired, flamboyantly gay novelist, with saturnine skin of an alarming tobacco hue, which looked remarkably like the old “Five and Nine” theatrical makeup everyone wore in the mercifully few months I spent in Repertory Theater in Leicester. A kindly, finely spoken man, with attentive acolytes, and a propensity for cocktails, he threw a daytime party for the Cambridge Footlights at his exquisitely thatched East Anglian cottage in 1965 when we bright young things played The Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmonds, an unforgettably beautiful Regency theater. His interest in young men from Cambridge far from home, and far from talented, was far from academic, though one recalls with a shock that homosexuality in those days was illegal and punishable by prison terms. The harsh laws in England were only changed in 1967. Things, mercifully, have moved on since then, though it is still ironic to realize that in the US the Candidate strongly opposed to gay marriage comes from a Church with a background of multiple marriage.
If I may quote the Reverend Whoopsie in What About Dick “Let us not forget our Lord himself had twelve little male friends, all sailors, and nobody said a word.”
“Marriage is a state given by God” say the opening lines of the old Church of England wedding ceremony, and that in itself is ironic given the fact that the Church of England only exists because of a failed marriage – Henry VIII’s desire to dissolve his union with Queen Catherine, so that he might enjoy the body of Anne Boleyn, a privilege he was probably not the first to sample - but if it is permissible nowadays for we disbelievers to marry isn’t it about time that the pursuit of happiness applied to all Americans? I was married in NYC and just celebrated 31 years of marriage to the saintly forbearing Tania, and I find it hard to understand why anyone would wish to deny stable unions in society.
My thoughts are triggered by an email from an old Spamalot alumni Jimmy Ludwig, who writes:
I’m running the ING NYC Marathon in November for the 4th time, but this year for charity; so what prompted this? A few months ago, I saw this post from a friend of mine who lives in LA:
“On the plane back from Mexico, the stewardess handed us two customs forms and said “One per household. One per family. If you live at the same address, you only need to fill out one.” Arriving at immigration, a married man and woman walked up to the officer’s booth when summoned, they showed the officer their passports and customs form and moved along. We were then called. I walked with Michael to the booth and was told by the officer to “Stand Back behind the line!” I said, “We are married. Just like that couple ahead of us.” “Stand back, sir! Behind the line, or I’ll call security!” I said, “But we are married. We filled out one customs…” “Stand back sir, or I’ll call security. We only recognize Federal marriage law.” I stifled my anger as I was forced to fill out a second customs form and told to go to another booth to process my customs declaration. My face was red with embarrassment, frustration, and anger as I realized that my marriage is not a marriage, my husband is not my husband, and my country will never be my country – not until DOMA is overturned and there is a federal marriage equality law.”
This is DISCRIMINATION, pure and simple. So this year I’m running for Broadway Impact in support of Marriage Equality – and I’m asking for your support. Follow the address below – you can click thru and donate right online, and your donation is tax deductible. Thanks everyone. Much love to all – let’s make stories like this History instead of news.
You betcha Jimmy. Let’s make Sara Palin illegal as well as redundant.