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MONIQUE DOYLE SPENCER

OK, let's vote on marriage

IT'S MAY 17, the anniversary of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. You can bet you'll hear plenty of talk about defining marriage, and whether or not we should have a referendum question about it. I can't wait to vote on marriage. I have studied the issue carefully so I know it will work like this: If you want to get married, you have to put your choice of spouse on the ballot. Nobody can walk down the aisle unless we all think you should. At last. We people will have the power we really want.

I've always felt that Ann Romney could do better, so I like to think we would have voted young Mitt off. Keep looking, Ann, we would say. Don't rush into this. Hillary, we would warn, that fella has a wandering eye. Kick him to the curb. There's a tall skinny guy from Massachusetts who would be a better mate. Dull but faithful.

And does your sister want to marry a no-goodnik? She should know better, but she doesn't. We would "vote no" on that guy long before the bachelor party. That woman your brother likes? The one who is taking a break from ruling the demons of evil just to ruin your life? Stopped long before the altar. Imagine the bumper stickers. Save Joe! Vote No! Vote Yes on Maryellen, It's Her Last Chance! No on Tiffany, For the Love of God!

Of course, this referendum question is really about sex. So before your wedding is approved, we will have to observe you in flagrante delicto, which is Latin for "in the back seat." I don't know how the Legislature will make that work. Maybe you'll be on YouTube, or maybe you'll have to canvass door-to-door. Gosh, it's going to be time-consuming and tough on the furniture.

I got in under the wire. I got married before anybody could vote on it. I showed up in an almost white dress, I wrote thank you notes in a timely fashion. If I make a lifetime commitment to somebody, say, for lack of a better example, my husband, then there are certain things I would like in return. We should be able to have joint health insurance. If we welcome children together, nobody better say they shouldn't be mine. Well, except for me, on a bad day.

Are you worried about your marriage passing the test of public opinion? Well, if history repeats, the referendum question will be so confusing that everyone will just vote no. The question will be written by a monkey who was raised by wolves. Not smart wolves, but wolves raised by referendum writers. So the question will be: Should the Legislature of Massachusetts be instructed to implement the non-implementation of a definition of marriage to be defined as a definition?

If we want to make a difference in marriage, let's vote on something that's everyone's business. If the groom's mother is thinner than the bride's mother, should said groom mother be required to wear a bridesmaid dress? If an aunt accidentally sent a "You're Expecting!" card to the bride, may the best man use this in his toast?

Otherwise, we should stick to the definition of marriage that God bestowed upon us. A romantic, loving, and spiritual journey of no more than two people, shortly to be destroyed by children.

Monique Doyle Spencer is author of "The Courage Muscle: A Chicken's Guide to Living With Breast Cancer."

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