On this week’s season premiere of The New Adventures of Old Christine, star Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ character Christine marries her best friend Barb (Wanda Sykes) to keep the latter from being deported back to the Bahamas.
The plan is hatched after Barb’s divorce finally comes through. But because she came to the country on a student visa and is not a citizen, Barb now may have to leave the country. So the longtime pals agree to a “friendship marriage.”
As Christine says: “Our marriage will be fun. We’d hang out. We’d eat. We’d pee in front of each other.”
Of course, the fatal flaw in the episode’s premise is that while same-sex marriage is legal in California, immigration is still administered by the federal government. And thanks to the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex unions are not recognized federally. So her piece of California paper wouldn’t mean anything to the INS.
But, details, shemtails. This is TV, not reality TV.
How was the wedding? Christine and Barb are surrounded by lesbian and gay couples when they get their marriage license. But when Barb sees the real happy couples, it gives her pause: “Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this. All of these people have fought their whole life for this.”
But they go ahead anyway and seal it with an awkward if endearing kiss.
When Christine explains to her son what’s happening between her and her best friend, it’s no less endearing:
People don’t choose who to love. … California has given people the right to marry who they love, which is wonderful and American and why we left England on the Mayflower in the first place.
Then, after a little it’s-on-it’s-off drama, the happy event took place. The platonic couple exchange vows and earrings. Amid the lightheartedness and laughter, the episode’s message about love and the absurdity of telling people who they can and can’t marry was clear. Take that, INS.
NO MEANS NO
Speaking of gay marriage, director Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw have donated $100,000 to the campaign to defeat a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in California. The couple’s donation follows on the heels of actor Brad Pitt‘s $100,000 donation last week to the same “Vote No on Prop. 8” campaign to fight the proposition that would change California’s constitution and overturn the state Supreme Court’s ruling in May legalizing same-sex marriage.
Spielberg and Capshaw’s statement read:
By writing discrimination into our state constitution, Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate the right of each and every citizen in our state to marry regardless of sexual orientation. Such discrimination has NO place in California’s constitution, or any other.
Way to go, straight folks.
SERIOUSLY, NO NO NO
In an unusually political move, Ellen DeGeneres has also come out forcefully against Prop. 8 on her blog. The talk show host and newlywed urged her viewers to vote no on the Nov. 4 ballot initiative in a post called “My Political Point…And I Do Have One,” a play off the title of her 1996 book.
In her post, Ellen acknowledged her unexpected foray into activism with her signature good-humor:
You know how usually I talk about cell phones or kitty cats or cheese pizza… well, this is sorta like that… without the cell phones, the cats, or the pizza.There’s a California Proposition on the ballot that’s a little confusing. It’s Proposition 8. It’s called, “The California Marriage Protection Act” — but don’t let the name fool you. It’s not protecting anyone’s marriage. Not yours. Not mine.The wording of Prop 8 is tricky. It’s like if someone asked you, “You don’t want dessert, right?” But you do want dessert so you say, “Yes,” which really means you don’t want dessert. And if you say, “No,” which means you do want dessert — it sounds like you don’t. Either way, you don’t get what you want. See — confusing. Just like Prop. 8.So, in case I haven’t made myself clear, I’m FOR gay marriage. And in order to protect that right — please VOTE NO on Proposition 8. And now that you’re informed, spread the word. I’m begging you. I can’t return the wedding gifts — I love my new toaster.
Friends don’t make friends return gravy boats. So listen to Ellen and vote no on Prop. 8.
— by Dorothy Snarker