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Marriage Is a Cabaret!

Liza and David’s union may be over, but let’s show their past love some respect.

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David Gest, plenty of news outlets took pains to note when his marriage to Liza Minnelli broke up, had been a confirmed bachelor his entire life.

Yes, thanks for reminding us. Now shut up.

Just as the universe has tipped a little further in favor of openly confirmed bachelors and bachelorettes (log-eyed heterosexual sinner-in-chief Bush and USA Today’s report notwithstanding) and their right to marry—everybody’s tittering about the demise of Liza and David’s supposed marriage of convenience. Even bridesmaid Cindy Adams got in on the act. David, she wrote in her New York Post column, “was not my cup” (you probably weren’t his either, honey), sounding anything but supportive of her “friend since the Stone Age” Liza’s marriage.

But, hey, wait a second. If courts, Canadian and otherwise, are leaning toward sanctioning unconventional marriages between same-sex couples, how about some tolerance for an unconventional marriage between an opposite-sex couple? Gays deserve the right to privacy, ergo so does a gay icon—and the Judy Garland–memorabilia collector she chose to love (at least for a while).

Besides, this marriage wasn’t just for them. They did it for us—their public. It was a gift to the culture, starting with that impossibly surreal wedding shot of the happy couple flanked by Michael Jackson with his That Girl hairdo and Elizabeth Taylor with her oddly apt funereal hat-and-veil assemblage.

It was no big loss when their VH1 reality series fell apart, because the marriage itself was the art (just like Michael Jackson’s marriage to Lisa Marie Presley). In its spectacular weirdness, their union transcended not only gender-identity and sexual-orientation issues but humanity itself. As in, while David was brushing off rumors that he’s a homo, did anybody think to ask if he and Liza are even Homo sapiens? They could be aliens. Cyborgs, maybe. Or even a stealth DreamWorks product. (Although, really, you’d expect better from that studio’s animation division: Many of David’s facial features seem to be missing, and Liza has mascara blobs in lieu of eyeballs.)

At any rate, they’re here, they’re queer—in the good old-fashioned sense—and it doesn’t seem like they’re getting back together, so we might as well (sigh) get used to it.


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