Friday, July 05, 2013

Woman marries bridge? I just can't keep up with these changing definitions of marriage

One half of the happy couple? The Le Pont du Diable Bridge.

Zay N. Smith's QT column today references a headline from the free British tabloid, Metro, "I pronounce you bridge and wife: Woman marries 600-year-old French bridge."

I looked the article up. Apparently there really was a ceremony in which Jodi Rose, an Australian artist, was 'married' to the Le Pont du Diable Bridge in Céret, in southern France.

This was evidently no spur of the moment decision. Ms. Rose has traveled the world since 2002 on bridge-related projects. First was Singing Bridges, "a conceptual sound work using the cables of bridges as musical instruments on a global scale." A CD was released in February 2005. And then came Global Bridge Symphony, "an ongoing project to link the sounds of bridges a round the world in collaboration with engineers, architects, software developers, composers, musicians, designers, visual and video artists." So Ms. Rose did not fall for the first bridge she had to cross.

But -- still -- it's hard not to see that there might be some obstacles to the union. There was the age difference, of course. The Le Pont du Diable Bridge dates to the 14th Century; I couldn't find her exact age online, but Ms. Rose is considerably younger. And Ms. Rose is human; the bridge is inanimate. Several of the articles I consulted said that Ms. Rose was a trifle vague as to how she determined the bridge's gender, but she says the bridge is male. However, even though France recently suffered a wave of protests because of same sex marriage legislation, gender in this case seems the least of the obstacles to a happy union. Consummation (no matter how devoutly wished) strikes me as a potentially bigger issue... and, for that matter, consent.

The bride and... groom?

Although there was no church wedding (bridges generally don't fit in even the largest churches, and a bridge whose name translates as the Devil's Bridge would probably be particularly opposed to a church ceremony, even if one could be arranged), the Mayor of nearby Saint-Jean-de-Fos was present to give his blessing to the union.

Anything for tourism, I suppose.

I guess, in the modern age, one can only hope the happy couple can, er, bridge their many differences.

Related: Jodi Rose bridges differences to marry Le Pont du Diable Bridge in France;
Woman marries bridge like that's a totally normal thing to do;
Rock-solid love: Australian woman marries a bridge in France - and even gets the mayor's blessing; and
Australian woman Jodi Rose marries a bridge in France - and even gets the mayor's blessing

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