Sunday, March 26, 2006

Texas Becomes a Haven for Gay Couples

Ever since Texas voters approved proposition 2, the so-called gay marriage ban last November, the Lone Star state has become an unexpected haven for gay couples. Against all expectations, thousands of two-man and two-woman couples from across the United States and Canada have poured into Texas, seeking refuge there from the pitfalls of heterosexual-style marriage.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, divorce rates among Texan heterosexuals were nearly twice as high as those in Massachusetts in 2004. (4.1 vs 2.4 per 1,000 respectively) This placed Texas with the ninth highest divorce rate in the U.S; 51 percent higher than the national average. With the majority of heterosexual marriages ending in divorce, Texans felt compelled to protect its gay citizens from the high odds of having to endure such painful and degrading outcomes.

In a recent interview, Gov. Rick Perry noted the increasing rate of divorces among Texans and its ensuing consequences. “Over half of all children in Texas come from broken homes which I find appalling. What’s worse is that millions of Texan dollars are pocketed by divorce lawyers. That’s money that could have been allocated toward high school football programs and the elimination of hunting license fees; things that Texans would truly cherish. Now that Proposition 2 is the law of the land, it’s made me realize that the majority of heterosexual Texans really do want to protect our gay citizens from the social and monetary damages caused by heterosexual marriages. Now that is what you call Southern hospitality!”

Quebelle Bruchmiller, a wedding consultant in Plano, Texas, is relieved with the new amendment. "I've been in this business for 27 years and, let me tell you, Texan weddings are getting tackier by the minute." She sited an outdoor wedding in East Texas where a recording of Dueling Banjos was played for the wedding march, the groom wore a Git-R-Done T-shirt, and the best man kept pumping a pony-keg during the nuptials. The mother of the bride weighed four-hundred pounds and, I swear, you could see the outline of her thong through that dress. It really makes you wonder if there is a god.

"And, oh, don't get me started on these couples that write their own vows! If I hear one more quote from Kalil Gibran or the Desiderata, I'm just going to urp." Bruchmiller smiled and her tone suddenly brightened. "At least part of our society won't be tempted to follow this disgusting trend now!"

She then winced and continued. "Let's face it. No one enjoys going to weddings except the bride. Then these narcissistic little daddy's girls decide that their wedding is an honor-yourself-beauty-pageant, end up putting both families into debt and getting divorced within a year. At least gay Texans won't be in danger of incurring such god-awful resentment from their families, bless their hearts!"

Helen Heimlich, a long-time organist at Fairview Baptist Church in Abeline TX, responds. "I've played for hundreds of weddings and you just wouldn't believe the stuff these people want me to play!" She remembers one particular bride who insisted that Gretchen Wilson's Redneck Woman be played while the mothers were being seated. "Now that Proposition 2 has been ratified, five-to-eight percent of our congregation won't be making requests like that. It'll make this place a little more dignified and make my job that much less embarrassing."

She sighed and pensively gazed out the window. "I just wish more of our congregation were gay."

Rev. Bud "Booger" Robinson agreed. “Back in the 1950's, weddings were really dignified. Now you never know what to expect. Last week the ring-bearer and flower-girl were the couple's own children. And the damn bride wore white! Most of the time the groom is so hungover he has no idea what's going on. You bet, I voted to keep the sanctity of marriage in Texas! I'm really glad the gay members of Fairview Baptist won't be tempted to follow the immoral examples that others have been displaying. "

Jim Altenhoff and his partner, David, recently made their way from Boston where gay marriages are legal. “Weddings up there were becoming such a cliché. If I heard the theme from Brokeback Mountain at one more wedding, I thought I’d just scream. The last time that happened, I just couldn’t take it anymore. . .” He held David’s hand as tears welled in his eyes. “It’s just such a relief that we made it to Houston. We’ll be safe here.”

Members of Texas' LGBT community have responded with similar enthusiasm. Janet Smith, president of the Texan Lesbian and Gay Task Force was relieved when Proposition 2 passed. "I was really worried there for a while that marriage might become legal for us in Texas. I mean, haven't my people suffered enough?"


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