Sarah “echo” Steiner held a press conference last Saturday to announce her upcoming wedding. She hasn’t picked a groom yet, but she’s hoping a month-long, exhaustive search will help her find the perfect suitor.
Her ideal candidate will aim to do no harm, have lots of employees, and be exorbitantly wealthy. “Of course, I’m looking for someone well endowed,” she explains, “and with staying power.”
The ideal spouse will also be registered with local and state governments as a business. Steiner, you see, is trying to be perhaps the first person in history to marry a corporation.
The effort is something of a political stunt. Steiner, a 39-year-old member of the Green Party from Lake Worth, wants to bring attention to the one-year anniversary of a Supreme Court ruling [CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMM’N ( No. 08-205 )]that gave corporations the same rights as a person when it comes to political donations.
Bonnie Redding, the secretary of the Green Party of Florida, says the idea was all Steiner’s. “We were just sitting around one day and [Steiner] said, ‘If a corporation is a person, then I’m going to find one and marry it.'” Redding acknowledges the stunt is “pretty ridiculous,” but she hopes it’ll make a bigger point about the problems giving corporations broad rights in donating to political parties.
Once Steiner finds an ideal business to marry, she plans to head down to the courthouse to get a marriage certificate. She’ll argue that the Supreme Court’s ruling gives corporations other rights typically given only to a person, like the right to marry.
She already found one company interested, a single-proprietor video company from Ithica, New York.
“Just like all first loves, it had my heart all aflutter,” Steiner says.
But then she realized what she really needed was a larger more high-profile business to share her home. Once settled on the right company, she plans to have a wedding shower, a registry, and a full-on wedding. She even created a Facebook page announcing the plans.
To get there, she’ll need to convince the Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts office to give her a marriage certificate. We have a call in to the clerks office to find out if it’s legal.
Steiner says she hasn’t considered what to do if she’s turned away. “I’m not sure what we’d do next,” she said. “We haven’t put a lot of thought into a long-term strategy here.”
But whatever happens, Steiner figures she’ll be better off than trying the Palm Beach County singles scene. A Lake Worth native, she had “a shotgun wedding” at 16 that lasted just two years. She hoped to be married again by 40, but as it approaches in September, a corporation may be her best suitor.
“I haven’t found the right man, but there are plenty of corporations out there,” she said.
Steiner and the Green Party will hold a press conference to officially announce the wedding plans at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 22, at the Little Owl Bar in Lake Worth. Potential business suitors are urged to attend. Bring flowers.
UPDATE: Palm Beach County Clerk of Court spokeswoman Kathy Burstein emailed a response that explained the courthouse “wouldn’t be allowed to issue a marriage license” based on Florida statute 741.04. The law requires anyone seeking a marriage license show up personally at the courthouse, recite an oath, and turn over a social security number. Unfortunately, the Burger King appears to be out as a possible suitor. An appeal is likely.