Category Archives: Gay

Congratulations to the Happy Couples

I’m still playing catch-up on news and blogging from being on vacation for almost two weeks, but I just had to say something about gay marriage, and that something is “Congratulations!”

I was born too late to see the great civil rights movement of the 1960s, but it’s been a privilege to watch the growth of the gay rights movement. To misuse an old saying, progress seems to have come very slowly and then all at once. There’s still plenty of work to be done when it comes to sexual freedom, but this is huge.

in Gay

Welcome to the New Century, Mr. President

Welcome to the new century, Mr. President, thank you for joining us.

“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.

I don’t see why Obama couldn’t have said that three years ago, but I’m glad he finally said it. By way of explanation, he said his thoughts went through an “evolution” to reach this decision.

The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states’ deciding the issue on their own.

So…still a little more evolving to do…

Boys Beware

I generally find anti-gay bigotry disturbing, but sometimes it’s also kind of amusing. I know that’s wrong — that gay people face real threats of discrimination and violence — but some anti-gay nonsense just makes me want to point and yell, “I didn’t know they still made people like you!”

Which brings me to Rick Perry’s culture-war campaign ad:

Aside from the fact that he’s a bit mixed up about school prayer, this is just plain embarassing. It’s like that older relative who keeps calling black people “colored” because he doesn’t realize times have changed. I immediately flashed back to an infamous Sid Davis classroom film called Boys Beware about the dangers of homosexuality. The whole thing is about 10 minutes long, but here’s a taste:

At its most basic, Boys Beware is vile crap that conflates homosexuality with predatory pedophilia. Yet it’s so disconnected from our current day and age that I can’t really get angry about it. I mean, it features a homosexual man who prowls the streets trying to seduce young boys by — I’m not making this up — taking them fishing at the duck pond. I guess there weren’t a lot of gay dance clubs.

(Boys Beware‘s odd style is pretty typical of Sid Davis’s social guidance films: The subject is alarming, but it’s shot with what Ken Smith in Mental Hygiene: Better Living Through Classroom Films 1945-1970 described as “a trancelike style, stripped of anything even remotely approaching drama or human emotion.” You never even hear the actors speaking; the narrator just describes what they’re saying. I suspect’s that’s because Davis couldn’t afford synchronized sound.)

And how can you not love the line “You never know when the homosexual is about”? If I were gay, I’d wear that on a T-shirt.

I don’t really have a point here, except that to me, Perry’s anti-gay attitude seems like something from another era. I hope it seems that way to most other people too.

“Do you, Party A, take Party B…”

Moby Kip points us to this story by Jennifer Garza of the Sacramento Bee:

Last month, Rachel Bird exchanged vows with Gideon Codding in a church wedding in front of family and friends. As far as Bird is concerned, she is a bride.

To the state of California, however, she is either “Party A” or “Party B.”

Those are the terms that have replaced “bride” and “groom” on the state’s new gender-neutral marriage licenses. And to Bird and Codding, that is unacceptable.

My first reaction was that this was just more of the usual anti-gay griping—the bride’s father is a pastor who’s trying to start a movement for couples to refuse to sign the marriage form—and it may well be just that, but it’s their marriage, isn’t it? Why can’t they be a bride and groom if they want to?

When they saw the terms, Codding wrote “groom” next to “Party A” and “bride” next to Party B and submitted their license. On Aug. 16, they married at her father’s church.

On Sept. 3, the couple received a letter from the Placer County Clerk-Recorder Registrar of Voters informing them that their license did not comply with California law and that the state did not accept licenses that had been altered.

So, they literally would have been happy writing “bride” and “groom” in the signature boxes on the license, but some inflexible clerk wasn’t going let them get away with that kind of anarchy.

You know, those of us who support same-sex marriage have had to respond over and over to the accusation that it would “destroy marriage.” That has never made sense to me. My marriage doesn’t change when other people get married, regardless of whether the other couple is a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. Marriage is not a scarce resource, there’s plenty of it to go around, and gay marriage doesn’t take anything away from straight marriage.

Or so I thought, until the State of California made a liar out of me.

“Those who support (same-sex marriage) say it has no impact on heterosexuals,” said Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute. “This debunks that argument.”

I know it’s a trivial issue, but thanks to the perversity of the government of California, the bigots are technically correct. Gay marriage does hurt straight marriage. Just a little, to be sure, but now we’re going to have to listen to all the I-told-you-so ranting.

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