This time last year Hannah Miller, a heterosexual Florida woman, married a heterosexual Florida man whom she never met before. Brian Feldman, the groom, orchestrated the stunt to call attention to discriminatory marriage laws by making abundantly clear that while two loving, committed gay people cannot marry each other, heterosexuals who just meet can score a marriage certificate without any questions asked. He put out an Internet call for women will to participate. Three showed up at the county clerk. Hannah was selected. But what happens after the performance art stunt becomes a reality? As in, you are now married to some complete stranger? You get an annulment — another anti-gay state-sponsored measure.
My favorite part of this story is how Hannah was chosen: with a sixth grade hook up game. The Central Florida Future relays:
Miller, who will be transferring to UCF in the fall into the fine studio arts program, was randomly chosen out of three girls to be part of a wedding that served as a performance piece protesting the lack of marriage rights for same-sex couples. “I was hoping that by doing something as drastic as marrying a stranger we could bring attention back onto a human rights issue that gets underplayed,” Miller said. Miller said her ex-husband Brian Feldman was the mastermind behind the idea. “In a conversation one night with a friend, I expressed my frustration about the inequality of rights for same-sex couples who care just as much about each other as heterosexual couples,” Feldman said. “It occurred to me that complete strangers could marry, as long as they were heterosexual, but a same-sex couple could not. I decided to do something about that through the ultimate performance art project — marrying a stranger.”
It was one year ago when Feldman put out a call for any woman to show up at the courthouse and he would marry them. “To be honest, after I put out the call stating I would marry anybody that shows up at the courthouse, I didn’t think anyone actually would show up,” Feldman said. To his surprise, three women showed up. “This was a predicament,” Feldman said, “So I did what any normal person would do — obtained an Aquafina bottle from the vending machine and with a traditional spin-the-bottle game, it landed on Hannah Miller, a local artist and puppeteer who I did not personally know.”
All good things must come to and end.
According to Miller, the only negative aspect of the entire ordeal was the recent annulment of the marriage. On Jan. 19, 2011, their marriage was terminated by the state of Florida after being married for less than a year. “It’s a sad thing for me because I do believe that marriage should be for life,” Miller said. “It is something that is very personal to me and it does make me sad to think about it and it does feel like a negative action instead of a positive action like the marriage was, but it was something that needed to be done.”
Feldman had similar things to say. “I strongly believe in marriage and always have. I believe in a person’s right and choice to marry the person they love. It is absurd to me that anyone be denied that right,” Feldman said. “This project was a personal sacrifice on both mine and Hannah’s parts, but it is the people who are waiting their turn for the right to marry, who are the true heroes.”
We that you for your marriage. And its dissolution.