Same sex... yeah, that's weird

JOSH DARE takes a walk down the aisle with all sorts of sanctities.

Pull quote: New York artist Shishaldin plans to marry French poet Comte De Lautreamont – even though he’s been dead for 134 years, and the two have obviously never met.

So another week rolls by, another barrage of loaded quotes comes from the Prime Minister’s office about why can’t marry. Between the blah blahs claiming they’re not being discriminatory always comes the seemingly immortal catch cry of “attempting to protect the sanctity of marriage”. The fact that the current demand is for civil unions aside, the protection of the sanctity is bit too late if you look closely.

Celebrity marriages

Ever since Britney Spears headlines with her 55 hour marriage and quickie annulment, celebrity marriages have appeared a bit of a sham – but she was no way near the first. In November 1998, Baywatch babe Carmen Electra and basketball bad-boy Dennis Rodman were married for a whopping nine days. Rodman had the marriage annulled due to the fact that he was too drunk to know what he was doing.

Who wants to marry a million bears?

From The Bachelor, Who Wants to Marry my Dad?, and Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?, to the grand hoax Joe Millionaire to our very own Outback Jack, the contestants on wedding-based reality TV shows take their right to get married for granted so flippantly they’re prepared to do it on national TV with someone they hardly know. And the female contestants' motivation? As one of them so plainly put it, “Marrying for money... It's been done for years.” Not if you’re gay, sweetheart.

Polygamy

As if being married to just one person isn’t enough, some religions expressly allow for a man to marry more than one woman simultaneously – a practice called polygamy. One such man was Tom Green, a Utah resident who, in 2001, was convicted of four counts of bigamy for having five serially monogamous marriages, while living with previous legally divorced wives. To top it off, he was also convicted of child rape and criminal non-support. Sounds like your bag? Then why not jump onto polymatchmaker.com? Funny how this particular US demographic is also one of the most vocal against gay marriage stateside…

Til death do us… oh, wait

Over in France, it seems an obscure law allows the living to marry the dead. Case in point: New York artist Shishaldin, who plans to marry French poet Comte De Lautreamont – even though he’s been dead for 134 years, and the two have obviously never met. The living-dead weddings do have to be sanctioned by the president; however there’s no word on whether French President Jacques Chirac has given the big thumbs up.

So, I married a horse

In May 1998, The Jerry Springer Show produced an episode titled ‘I married a horse’. While it also included other bestiality enthusiasts such as a woman who recounted her whirlwind romance with a dog and the man who only pines for canines, the main focus of the programme was the five year relationship between a man and his horse, Pixel. The show was ultimately not aired by many stations on the planned date, apparently due to concerns about the acceptability of broadcasting an episode in which a man admits to a long term emotional and sexual relationship of this kind.

I now pronounce you mammal and wife

In June 2003, over 100 guests attended the wedding of a nine-year-old Indian girl (of the Santal tribe of Khanyhan) and a dog, in order to ward off a bad omen. The couple and guests danced to beating drums and drank home-made liquor. Without an inch of remorse, the girl told Western press, “I have no regret in marrying the dog Bacchan. I am fond of the dog who moves around our locality.” This isn’t as uncommon as you’d probably like to believe, because as a local explained, “If the child is born with joint teeth, it's a sign of bad omen which harms the fortunes of the child. So, a girl who takes out joint teeth is bound to marry a dog.”

They call him hubby, hubby

Quite famously in December 2005, a 41 year old UK resident, Sharon Tendler, ‘married’ Cindy, a male dolphin held at the Dolphin Reef dolphinarium in Israel. The ceremony consisted of a veil-clad Cindy offering fish to the dolphin, who then 'kissed' her. There was originally a small uproar as it was thought the name Cindy was a female name, meaning that it would have been a same-sex marriage, but those fears were calmed when it was explained that Cindy was a boy.

Here comes the baa

In a twisted play on the phrase why buy a cow if you get the milk for free, in February 2006 a Sudanese man who was caught having sex with a neighbour's goat was ordered by a council of elders to pay the neighbour a dowry of 5,000 Sudanese dinars and marry the animal. I suppose it could be said that the man ‘goat’ what was coming to him.