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FAIRNESS 8'?m3f Homosexual marriage: a matter of fairness?

(scene: a courtroom, can be a podium only)

JUDGE -- (enters, crosses to bench, pounds gavel) This court 
will come to order. The next case is the class action law suit 
of Matilda Partridge et al versus the state. Are the attorneys 
for both parties present?

DEFENSE -- (enters, crossing to bench) Defense counsel is 
present, Your Honor. I represent the Attorney General's office. 

PARTRIDGE --  (enters opposite carrying bird cage, crossing to 
bench) My name is Matilda Partridge and I will be representing 
the bird lovers in this litigation, Your Honor. (for the 
remainder of the skit, coos, air-kisses and whispers quietly and 
affectionately at bird cage between lines)

JUDGE -- Ms Partridge, as complainant, you may state your case 
against the state.

PARTRIDGE --  Thank you, Your Honor. As you may know, we bird 
lovers have been trying to pass legislation making it legal for 
bird lovers to marry their birds, but to no avail... 

JUDGE -- ...Excuse me. Did you say you want to MARRY your bird?

PARTRIDGE --  Yes, of course. But the closed-minded right-wing, 
Christians have poisoned the minds of the American citizens 
making justice and equality impossible for bird lovers. As a 
result, we bird lovers are asking the courts to legislate from 
the bench as they have done in other civil rights cases. It's 
simply a matter of fairness.

JUDGE -- Defense counsel, how do you answer these charges?

DEFENSE -- Your Honor, this law suit in no way resembles a civil 
rights case, because there is no discrimination of any kind 
against bird lovers, let alone UNFAIR discrimination.

PARTRIDGE --  Antibird bigot!

JUDGE -- Ms Partridge. Such outbursts will not be tolerated in 
this courtroom.

PARTRIDGE --  I'm sorry, your honor, but when you've been 
discriminated against for as long as we bird lovers have been, 
you become chafed by the obvious bigotry.

DEFENSE -- Objection, the complainant is assuming facts not in 
evidence.

PARTRIDGE -- ...trying to ram your values down our throats.

JUDGE -- Defense counsel is correct, Ms Partridge. In this court 
we cannot just assume that there is discrimination merely 
because you feel discriminated against. You must submit evidence 
relating to your charge. The defendant, in this case the 
government, is assumed innocent until proven guilty. What 
evidence do you have that bird lovers are being discriminated 
against?

PARTRIDGE --  Well, it's just as obvious as the nose on your 
face, Your Honor! We bird lovers are being deprived of our 
civil right to equal treatment under the law.

JUDGE -- Counselor?

DEFENSE -- Your Honor, the law is not preventing Matilda 
Partridge or any other bird lover from marrying. She may marry 
any human being of the opposite sex just like the rest of us. As 
a matter of fact, some bird lovers have chosen to exercise their 
right to marry.

JUDGE -- Ms Partridge?

PARTRIDGE -- Your Honor, defense counsel's bias against bird 
lovers is so obvious that it makes me nauseous. What a lack of 
tolerance!

JUDGE -- Counselor?

DEFENSE -- Your Honor, this kind of rhetoric may work on TV talk 
shows, but it has no place in the courtroom. Militant bird lover 
organizations have a stated policy concerning public discourse 
that they will label anyone who disagrees with them as an 
intolerant bigot. Name calling is not evidence.

JUDGE -- Defense counsel is right, Ms Partridge. Ad Hominem 
attacks are not evidence. What evidence do you have that the 
government marriage regulations discriminate against bird 
lovers?

PARTRIDGE -- Well, it's so patently obvious, Your Honor!  
Excluding bird lovers from the marriage contract is 
mean-spirited hate-mongering by religious inquisitors who quote 
scripture even while they burn bird lovers at the stake and turn 
the screw of the rack to draw more blood and screams, and hammer 
nails into countless bodies on numberless crosses in order to 
murder the human spirit.

JUDGE -- Counselor?

DEFENSE -- Your Honor, these emotional appeals are very 
touching. But they are not evidence. The fact is that noone is 
stopping bird lovers from loving their birds. And if they want 
to make vows of fidelity toward their birds, noone is stopping 
them. I challenge the complainant to name a single right in the 
Bill of Rights that we are violating by failing to make such a 
marriage legal.

JUDGE -- Ms Partridge?

PARTRIDGE -- You can marry anyone you want to. We just want the 
same right.

JUDGE -- Counselor, aren't you going to object to that answer 
as non-responsive?

DEFENSE -- No, Your Honor, I'd like to answer the argument. The 
fact is we CANNOT marry ANYONE we want to. I cannot marry my 
sister or my brother. I cannot marry my son or my daughter. I 
cannot marry my father or my mother. In most jurisdictions I 
cannot even marry my first cousin. And if I am already married, 
I cannot marry a second person, no matter how much I love him. 
Would the complainant like to allow people to marry their 
children?

PARTRIDGE -- No! That's perverted!

DEFENSE -- Then, you admit that we should have SOME limits on 
who we are allowed to marry?

PARTRIDGE -- No. I changed my mind. You can marry anybody you 
want to, as long as I can marry my bird.

JUDGE -- Counselor?

DEFENSE -- Your Honor, in the case of Jones versus Hallahan, the 
U.S. Supreme Court said, (reads) "Marriage was a custom long 
before the state commenced to issue licenses for that purpose. 
In all cases, marriage has always been considered as the union 
of a man and a woman, and we have been presented with no 
authority to the contrary." The fact is, Your Honor, if the 
marriage contract ceases to include only a man and a woman it 
ceases to be marriage.

PARTRIDGE -- Bigot! Birdophobe!

JUDGE -- Birdophobe?! Ms Partridge!

PARTRIDGE -- It's as much a civil right as equality of races. 
Rosa Parks did not sit in the back of the bus and neither will 
we!

JUDGE -- Counselor?

DEFENSE -- Your Honor, Rosa Parks was discriminated against 
because of the color of her skin. The bird lovers are trying to 
make the choosing of a lover on the same par with skin color.

PARTRIDGE -- Exactly. What's your point?

DEFENSE -- My point is that until recently, choosing a bird as a 
lover was considered an immoral act. Is the complainant advocating 
the licensing of other immoral acts?

PARTRIDGE -- Yes, as long as it will allow me to marry my bird.

DEFENSE -- How about theft? How about assault? How about murder? 
These are immoral acts. Why not license them too?

PARTRIDGE -- Well, that's different.

DEFENSE -- How are they different?

PARTRIDGE -- I don't know. They just are. We bird lovers don't 
hurt anybody.

DEFENSE -- I'm not so sure about that.

PARTRIDGE -- What do you mean?

JUDGE -- That's a good question, Counselor. Would there be harm 
to society if bird lovers were allowed to marry their birds? 

DEFENSE -- Diseases transmitted between partners among bird 
lovers is as high as 80% in some bird-lover populations.

PARTRIDGE -- Oh, that.

DEFENSE -- Licensing marriage to birds is legalizing a 
disease-producing immoral act. Is that what we want our public 
law to advocate?

PARTRIDGE -- Birdophobe! Don't try to impose your values on us!

JUDGE -- Ms Partridge, please, save your opinions for closing 
arguments! (to Defense) Closing arguments, Counselor?

DEFENSE -- Allowing people to marry their birds is not about 
equality or fairness. It's all about giving legitimacy and 
acceptability to a disease-producing immoral act. These bird 
lovers have tried unsuccessfully to pass laws licensing their 
immoral and unhealthy behavior. And now they are asking you to 
legislate it from the bench. The question really is, who is 
trying to impose their values on whom? 

JUDGE -- Closing arguments, Ms Partridge?

PARTRIDGE -- I have no closing arguments, your honor. I just 
want to marry my bird. It's a matter of fairness and equality.
(coos at cage)

JUDGE -- Ms Partridge, during this entire trial that bird 
hasn't moved a muscle. 

PARTRIDGE -- Yes, so?

JUDGE -- So, that bird looks dead!

PARTRIDGE -- It IS dead. So?

JUDGE -- You want to marry a dead bird?

PARTRIDGE -- Sure, why not? Oh, I suppose you want to deprive me 
of fairness and equality just because he's dead!

JUDGE -- We've got to draw the line somewhere. Case dismissed. 
(pounds gavel) This court is adjourned. (pounds gavel, exits 
with Defense)

PARTRIDGE -- (follows) Oh, sure, you're just like all the other 
narrow-minded bigots. You're just as mean-spirited and 
closed-minded as those intolerant, right-wing Christian 
hate-mongers. You birdophobe! You necrophobe!

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