Tom Ackerman has an provocative approach for dealing with a constantly simmering problem here in America: gay marriage. Whenever someone mentions their husband or wife (or their “marriage”), he makes a blunt statement that he “doesn’t recognize marriage.” His reason? “[N]obody should have marriage until everybody does.” That gives people who have been privileged with the ability to marry a bit of the perspective of those are aren’t allowed this privilege. Here’s how he does it:
Yesterday I called a woman’s spouse her boyfriend.
She says, correcting me, “He’s my husband,”
“Oh,” I say, “I no longer recognize marriage.”
The impact is obvious. I tried it on a man who has been in a relationship for years,
“How’s your longtime companion, Jill?”
“She’s my wife!”
“Yeah, well, my beliefs don’t recognize marriage.”
Fun. And instant, eyebrow-raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it’s like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have a much taken-for-granted right called into question because of another’s beliefs.