By Leslie Robinson
If you’d like some positive news about same-sex marriage to offset the recent court decisions in New York and Georgia, I can provide it. In the countries where gay marriage is allowed, some of the people seizing the opportunity are toppling stereotypes as they tipple with their wedding guests.
Spain legalized same-sex marriage a year ago, and late this summer the country will see its first military gay wedding.
If Spanish scientists noted a deep rumbling the day this news broke, my guess is that it was Franco turning over in his grave.
The betrothed are men, both privates in the air force. Their last names haven’t been made public, but they share the first name of Alberto. They plan to wed in Seville, where they’re based.
The intendeds recognize that some of their colleagues don’t see this as a match made in heaven.
“We know we are in the armed forces and this is touchy because we are not gardeners but rather soldiers. I know there are superior officers who will make life difficult for me, and they are already doing so,” Alberto number one told a Seville radio station. Or maybe it was Alberto number two.
The Defense Ministry is keeping mum except to say it views this as a personal matter and the men are perfectly within their rights under the law to get hitched.
The privates received permission to wear their uniforms during the nuptials. They aren’t going to, though. Not because the hues of the Spanish air-force uniform clash with their color scheme, but because they don’t want to antagonize the military.
This is quite a tightrope they’re walking, as they balance the desire to live authentically with the acute knowledge they’re doing something new in Spanish society, and it could cost them in a bushel of ways. It’s understood worldwide that military equals macho, and marrying your boyfriend is about as macho as accessorizing your dress uniform with a tiara.
For now, anyway.
I hope the Albertos’ relationship can withstand the pressure. And I hope their air-force training included parachuting Ñ it may be the only way off that tightrope.
In a different part of the world, another male twosome should, at this point, be married. Jason Tree and David Connors planned to recite their own vows in front of about 100 family members and friends in a hall in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, the day before Canada Day.
I assume the grooms didn’t say their vows on horseback, but you never know. They are, after all, Mounties.
The two officers in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they would wear their uniforms, as would a troop of fellow Mounties in attendance. It must’ve been a sea of red serge.
Constables Tree and Connors have heard all the jokes about the Mountie getting his man and Brokeback Mounties. I’m sure I could make something out of Dudley Do-Right, but since I don’t know how Canadians feel about that cartoon caricature, I’ll refrain. That’s my wedding present to the boys.
Tree told The Canadian Press they don’t view their wedding as unique. “Our goal was to get married, not have an international media story,” he said. “I fail to see the big deal.”
I don’t. This is a first for the RCMP, perhaps Canada’s most iconic symbol, and upholder of the Canadian status quo. Also, since same-sex marriage, which became the law of the land a year ago, is now threatened, two cops choosing to handcuff themselves together for life should be a reminder to the politicians in Ottawa that it’s a sensible policy to protect those who protect everyone else.