Friday, February 27, 2004

Gays being married from sea to shining sea

Jason West, the 26-year old mayor of the village of New Paltz, New York, married 21 gay couples on the steps of the village hall yesterday. That's the east coast, the west coast is already working on it, now if some of you states in the middle would throw out one or two bigoted laws this whole thing could blow over and people would see that it isn't the end of the world for us heteros. Of course, it only took minutes for the fear-and-hate machine to get fired up:

As the ceremonies by Mayor West were ending, the state Health Department asked the attorney general to seek an injunction "to prevent further illegal conduct by the mayor," a department spokesman said.

I find it interesting that almost every time I've seen photos of these happenings, there are throngs of peaceful supporters, many of whom are carrying signs stating that they are straight and supportive, and a few bent out of shape twisted-looking hateful people. I mean really, I think if you want to be heard, you have to take some responsibility for how strongly you conform to your group's stereotypes, and the protesters I've seen on the news look like trailer-park denizens who couldn't get tickets to be in the audience of Jerry Springer that day, so they decided to go protest these marriages instead.

The scene that sticks out the most in my mind: at the Town Hall in SF, one heckler was walking up and down the line berating the gay couples who were waiting to be married. This guy was very confrontational, and kept turning around and slapping his butt saying "you want some of this? You know you do... but you can't have it, cause I'm not a faggot". This, in turn, reminded me of an ex-co-worker who was very upset with the very idea of gay men, because he thought that they all wanted to fuck him. I politely refrained from commenting on this... if he couldn't see the obvious ironies in his thinking, it seemed highly unlikely that he'd be capable of having a rational discussion on the issue.

BTW, I just checked back at Flowers for Al and Don, and they've collected $13,000, in part because an AP article ran in the New York Times and the Guardian. So many people are approaching this issue with good will, and so many other (primarily politicians and lobbyists, from the look of it) are approaching it with fear and hatred.

Another image stuck in my brain: a woman with a face that looks like it is stuck that way from so many years of scowling, carrying a sign that says "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve". So, what she's saying basically is that the prejudices of some goatherders who have been dead for 3000 years and the assumed prejudices of her Big Imaginary Friend override common courtesy, kindness to others, and the concept of keeping your fucking nose out of other people's business. Yet somehow, she feels like her way of life is being attacked. It's sad, really.