Lavender Ink - 4 Gay One-Act Plays by Edward Crosby Wells
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Excerpt from CIVIL UNIONIZED
A counter in a U.S. Post Office. Behind the counter is the CLERK
and in front of the counter is the MAN.
CLERK: Married or single?
MAN: Excuse me?
CLERK: Married or single?
MAN: Why? Why do you need to know?
CLERK: (Shuffling paperwork.) Do you want a passport or not?
MAN: I want to go to France.
CLERK: You'll need a passport for that, sir.
MAN: Yes, I know.
CLERK: Then, are you married or single?
CLERK: And your wife's name is?
CLERK: Sir, your wife's name is Harold?
MAN: Well, he's not exactly my wife.
CLERK: Then you are not married!
MAN: Of course I am. We had a civil union.
CLERK: Where are you going with this?
MAN: France. I want to go to France.
CLERK: No. Where are you going with this nonsense?
MAN: We had
a civil union. We're married.
CLERK: No, you're civil unionized.
MAN: Well, it's the same, isn't it?
CLERK: Is it? How do you get from civil union to
MAN: Well, it is when two things-in this case, two human
beings-merge into one . . . a kind of galvanization.
CLERK: You and another man are galvanized-together? Was it
MAN: You're being flippant at my expense. Harold and I are
legally married. We had a legal civil ceremony and that is all
there is to it.
CLERK: Do you know how many marriages end in divorce?
MAN: Probably fifty percent.
CLERK: Well, what are you going to do when you want a divorce?
MAN: I don't plan on having a divorce. We don't
CLERK: Consider yourself lucky. You can't get divorced 'cause
you're not married. That gives you some kind of special right,
MAN: I don't want special rights. I just want equal
rights. CLERK: What about the children?
MAN: What children?
CLERK: The children you are going to confuse and
MAN: I don't know what you're talking about.
CLERK: If you're not married you can't get divorced. If you
can't get divorced you'll slip into polygamy and there you have
MAN: Have what?
CLERK: Special rights!
MAN: I don't plan on getting a divorce.
CLERK: Then, are you going to get de-unified-de-galvanized?
MAN: We just got married.
CLERK: Sir! You are not married! Only a man and a woman can be
married! You've been civil unionized!
MAN: Call it what you will, we're married! And by the way, is there
a wife in your life?
CLERK: There certainly is. I'm what you legally call married
in the eyes of Man and God. No special rights for us.
MAN: I see, big church wedding, the Bishop was in attendance, aye?
CLERK: Nope. The Bishop went to prison for diddling little
boys. It was a quiet civil ceremony down at City Hall.
MAN: I see. Then you are not married. You're civil unionized,
CLERK: I am no such thing, sir! I am a man and she is a woman.
(Or, if played by a woman, the other way around.) We are married.
You and Rudolph . . .
CLERK: You and what's-his-name, on the other hand, will never be
married. You are civil unionized and that is all there is to it.
MAN: Well, it's the same thing.
CLERK: No it isn't!
MAN: What about the marriage of two elements of Nature blending
to make one union in the eyes of God?
CLERK: Nonsense! You're a fruitcake! So, let's
see…married or single-(Checks box on application.)
MAN: I want to go to France.
CLERK: Then you will have to change your marital status.
MAN: What are you talking about?
CLERK: Sir, there is a line behind you.
MAN: I'm not leaving here till you accept my application for
CLERK: And you are not going anywhere until you marry a woman or get
de-unionized from Raymond.
WOMAN: (Entering.) Hey, buster! I've been
waiting in this line for twenty minutes and my lunch half-hour is
almost up. Are you going to get on with it or what?
MAN: I'm trying to get my passport.
CLERK: Are you married, lady?
WOMAN: What's it to you?
CLERK: It's this box, madam. It says, "married" and it says
"single." And we have to fill out every box on this
CLERK: Your husband's name?
MAN: Excuse me, but I believe this gentleman (Or "lady.") was
waiting on me.
WOMAN: Think so, do you?
CLERK: Stand aside, sir!
MAN: I want my passport! I want to go to France.
WOMAN: Hey, buddy! Did you hear the man (Or "lady.")?
MAN: I heard, but he (Or "she.") isn't done with me yet.
I'm not leaving till he (Or "she.") accepts my
CLERK : Please stand aside, sir. The Postmaster will have to
examine your case.
MAN: What case? I only want to go to France.
WOMAN: (Pointing.) And I want you to go over there and shut
MAN: I want to see the Postmaster.
CLERK: He'll be here a week from Thursday.
MAN: I can't wait that long!
CLERK: Stand aside! (MAN stands aside and mumbles.) Okay,
lady. Now, let's see. Married or single?
CLERK: And your husband's name?
MAN: What kind of a name is that?
WOMAN: It's a perfectly good name. She was named after her
Grandmother on her father's side.
CLERK: Her grandmother?
MAN: On her father's side?
CLERK: Are you saying that your husband is a woman?
WOMAN: No. My significant other is a woman.
CLERK: So, you are single.
WOMAN: No. We had a civil union-has all the benefits of
CLERK: Except for the fact that you're not married, and if you're
not married you're single! And if you are single you are living in a
state of sin! There is no box on this application for your current
arrangement! Either you are married or you are not married! What
is it with you people and your special privileges?
[end of extract]
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