Assume the Position

Monday, February 23, 2004
Ralph Nader To Wed — Himself

Ralph Nader, the latest entrant into the 2004 presidential contest, announced early Monday that one of his first stops on the campaign trail will be San Francisco, where he will marry himself.

Nader blamed his unmarried status as one of the reasons for his poor showing as the Green Party candidate in 1996 and 2000. "Just look at where Dennis Kucinich stands now, and what happened to me the last two times out. There is a pervasive discrimination against unmarried presidential candidates," he said.

In an apparent foreshadowing of this action, Nader addressed the question of gay marriage when he announced his candidacy Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" on:

MR. RUSSERT: Civil rights: Many gay couples believe that they should be allowed to be married. You heard Governor Schwarzenegger say he disagrees with that. Democrat candidates will say they're for civil unions but not gay marriage. Would Ralph Nader support gay marriage?

MR. NADER: I support equal rights for same-sex couples. I think there's an interesting quote by a lesbian leader in The New York Times a few days ago when she said, "It's not a matter of labels, it's a matter of equal rights." However, that can occur by adjusting state laws or having a federal law. That is certainly something that the gay-lesbian community is going to have to work out.

MR. RUSSERT: But gays should be allowed to be married if they so choose, according to you.

MR. NADER: Of course. Love and commitment is not exactly in surplus in this country. The main tragedy, what undermines marriage, is divorce, as Mayor Daley of Chicago just said.

Today, Nader, who has lived with himself for 70 years, expanded on those themes. "Look, I may not be a 'couple,' but I'm definitely same-sex," he said, "and there is little chance I will ever divorce myself. That means my marriage to myself has a much better chance of lasting 'til death do I part' than for 50 percent of those who marry."

When asked if he would accommodate Nader's plan, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said "I do not believe it's appropriate for me, as mayor of San Francisco, to discriminate against people."

Campaign sources and Nader's friends say many of the details for the wedding are still being worked out. The frugal millionaire hopes he will only have to pay half of the $82 marriage license and $62 ceremony fees, and no one is sure if Carly Simon will be able to attend the ceremony and perform her 1973 hit, "You're So Vain," the official campaign theme song.

Original content copyright © 2002-2005 Lynxx Pherrett. All rights reserved.