My ‘job’ these days is picketing at the front of City Hall, asking people to wait in our line for a few minutes to show respect for the picket line. My fellow picketers and I have enjoyed spotting people as they arrive and guessing what their business is. Of course we don’t always get it right, but we keep trying to improve our stats.
Today a couple of 40-ish men approached looking festive in not-quite-matching pink shirts and funky shoes. I approached them as we do to be helpful and to avoid line-crashing, and said, “We’re asking people what service they need access to in City Hall because not everything is open due to the strike.” Tax collection and permits for example, are closed; Service Canada, the library, and marriage licenses are open.
One of the men flushed slightly and assured me in a southern American accent, “We know where we’re going is open.” But he didn’t tell me what they were doing inside.
I didn’t press the point, and simply directed them to our queue, saying, “That’s fine, if you’d just wait in line for a few minutes, we’ll be happy to let you in shortly.” And that’s exactly what they (and we) did.
If my description didn’t hint at it, it seemed reasonably obvious that they were there to get a marriage license. I understand that people have all kinds of reasons for not wanting to disclose their sexual orientation, but it does seem a shame to not be out at least when getting married. I commented to my co-picketer that they seemed too embarrassed to use the M word.
She nodded sagely and said, “They’re Americans. They’re not used to our freedoms.”
So anyway, Mazel Tov!