Romantic comedies and candlelight dinners are two common activities that couples like to engage in on Valentine’s Day, but Bill Talen is offering a rather, uhh, unique suggestion on February 14: un-marry your spouse for gay rights. USA Today reported that Talen is inviting all couples to participate in the “unMarriage event,” taking place in New York City, which apparently isn’t anything new.
Talen, who is also known as Rev. Billy, invites all to join in on this event on his website and writes, “Join hundreds of couples at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park this Valentine’s Day for a mass ritual in support of all the rights of ALL people to marry whomever they wish.”
He continues to write, “Brides and Grooms will suspend their vows in a ritual officiated by Reverend Billy. Tragic and hopeful love songs will be sung. Participants will be issued an official unmarried certificate suitable for framing.” How romantic.
Don’t fret if you aren’t married; “the unwed are also welcome to join the ritual as we declare a moratorium on all weddings until gay weddings are legalized and California Prop 8 is overturned.”
USA Today didn’t seem to find anything strange about the idea and wrote that, “The unMarry idea isn't original – Sarah Silverman made the same pledge on The View last week, saying getting married right now ‘is like joining a country club that wouldn't allow Blacks or Jews.’” Yep, that’s exactly right.
And just to reaffirm that Talen’s idea wasn’t original, USA Today pointed to a group of Minnesota Quakers who won’t certify weddings until gays are able to legally marry. But it’s not just the Quakers who are waiting. “Celebs have been saying this for years and the New York Times found ordinary engaged couples agreed to "No 'I Do' Till Gays Can Do It, Too" in 2006.”