Somehow, the marriage fraud for which Eric Affholter was convicted seems more honest than the marriage between Charlie Crist and Carole Rome. Both were high-profile attorneys for whom a marriage was rife with political intrigue. Only in Affholter's case, the marriage of his partner, Pedro, to a female friend was motivated by his desire to secure Pedro's legal residence in the United States, the same way an American who fell in love with an immigrant of the opposite sex could secure that person's citizenship.
The Crist engagement, of course, occurred just as Sen. John McCain kicked off his search for a vice presidential nominee, a selection Crist lusted after. If the hope was to ease fears among Republicans that Crist was a closeted gay, it didn't work. Sarah Palin, whose heterosexuality is beyond reproach, got the gig instead.
Crist still followed through with the marriage, of course, but in the year since, the pair have rarely been seen together. Most recently, Crist spent the evening of their first anniversary
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in Palm Beach's Mar-a-Lago at a March of Dimes fundraiser, with wife Carole nowhere in sight, according to page2live.com.
This after a year in which Rome bounced between visits to her kids in New York and her home on Fisher Island, while Crist stayed in Tallahassee or his home in Tampa Bay. Remember, Crist worked right through the couple's honeymoon.
But come on! The first anniversary? You two aren't even trying anymore. And why should you? If Crist is gay -- or if he's just a commitment-phobic straight guy who likens Burger King funnel cake sticks to a "beignet" -- he shouldn't feel political pressure to get married.
Just like Affholter shouldn't have been charged with a felony. All in the name of protecting marriage.