California's Supreme Court decision to lift the ban on gay marriage has revived the national gay marriage debate. Gay
marriage opponents say the ruling demonstrates that constitutional
measures are needed to prevent judges from subverting the will of the
people. What these opponents know and understand is
the fact that laws influence thinking and behavior. Already,
a majority of Californian voters support gay marriage (51%, up from 28%
in 1977), showed a poll released Wednesday by the Field Poll – a mere 2
weeks after the decision. And, not to put too fine a point on
things, but the argument that judges subvert the will of the people
is false. In California, the judges in the gay marriage case were
all overwhelmingly elected by the voters.
on the issue heated-up in New York after Governor David Paterson
announced New York would recognize all valid gay marriages performed
elsewhere. Opposition to the Governor's move was swift as gay marriage opponents in the Empire State cried foul. “It's a perfect example of a governor
overstepping his authority and sidestepping the democratic process,”
said Brian Raum, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund,
a national organization opposed to gay marriage. “It's an issue of
public policy that should be decided by the voters.” Yet what
opponents fail to remember is that New York courts have already ruled
to accept valid gay marriages performed elsewhere.
The decision has rippled into the
conscious thinking of politicians everywhere. In Ohio, one misguided representative used the new buzz on gay marriage to defend his opposition to a gay equality bill. Jeff Wagner described the pending
bill as “dangerous and misguided” in an email written to an Ohio
constituent and later posted on the PFLAG website. “As that
traditional family erodes, we see more sexually transmitted diseases,
kids without parents, heartbroken people and I believe a host of
mental and physical illnesses...rest assured I can not support a bill
in any way promotes or encourages the homosexual lifestyle,” Wagner
Here's a visual used during gay marriage strategy sessions.
And, it's certain ExxonMobil
shareholders were thinking about all of this as they pondered whether
to extend GLBT protections. While
nearly 40% voted in favor of adding sexual orientation and gender
identity to the company's official equal employment opportunity policy
– a record number since 2000, sadly, the measure failed. ExxonMobil, the world's
largest company by revenue, remains the only Fortune 50 company that
does not offer GLBT protections.
While America grapples with the issue
of gay marriage, GLBT people around the globe remain without basic
protections. According to the United Nations, it is estimated that
80 countries in the world outlaw homosexuality. One of those
countries is Dubai, where police have mounted a weekslong campaign called Preserve Our Social Values. Several men and women were
arrested for cross-dressing, though it was not clear what charges
would be brought.
And it was our own Gay Entertainment Report that brought me news of the happenings at New York's gay & lesbian film festival NewFest. Director/writer Steward Wade's Tru
Loved - a drama of teen love amid gay happenings - opens the
festival. And, director Tom Gustafson's spellbinding gay fantasy
musical Were The World Mine makes its New York premiere.
[Editors note: Walter contemplates
his future after breaking-up with his longtime, bisexual boyfriend
Simon. Fiction from "Scenes From My Gay American
Monday, in my office at work. I'm
contemplating love gone wrong – was it love or just easy? – as I
flip through photos of Simon on my iPhone. I had photographed every
ordinary event in our lives, Simon sleeping in red flannel pajamas on
a cold December morning, eating a ham sandwich at Mother's Diner,
shaving after taking a hot shower. With no one to hold at night, I'd
fallen into a deep rut. Some would say I was depressed. The iPhone
photoshow application comes to a picture of Slim taken nearly two
years ago at a French restaurant that has since closed. His face is
lit by some mysterious source and he is surrounded by opaque globes
of various colors. “Right now would be a good time to send down
that angel. Someone to put me back together,” I say, looking at
Michelle, my secretary, sits outside of
my office and, when the blinds are open, as they are now, I have a
clear view of her desk as she works. Across the hall from my office,
John and Bill share an office. Michelle catches my glance, smiles
and waves at me. I'm returning the smile when Hillary, my boss,
dashes into my office.
She is carrying a small, rectangular
box that I recognize. In fact, I had delivered it to her office a
couple of weeks ago when it was delivered to my office mistakenly.
The box had been delivered opened.
“Did you see this?” she says,
pointing to the box. She flips open the box, then closes it quickly.
“Yeah. The data from the West
Coast,” I reply.
She looks at me for a moment
suspiciously, then sits down in a red leather chair in front of my
“The data. Yes, the data. This box
was open. Where's the DVD? Who does something this shitty?” she
says, getting-up from the chair. She leans into my desk as I rise
from my chair, opens the box to reveal nothing more than some
paperwork, then snaps it shut.
“We can always replicate the data by
transferring it from the Google computing cloud and burning our own
DVD,” I say.
She walks away from me and catches
Michelle peering into the office before quickly turning away. She
opens the box again, this time she looks into the box herself, then
turns to face me.
“Was this box open when you got it?”
she demands, nearly in tears, pacing nervously.
“Yeah, the mail boy said FedEx
delivered it opened. I told you this,” I respond.
“This is ridiculous!!!” she
I glance down at my PC and notice an
email from Bill asking, “What was that loud noise?” Hillary
catches me reading the email and turns to look at Michelle.
“I'll ask Tech guy to download the
data...” I begin.
“We need a meeting, right now!!
This is ridiculous. Who does this kind of shitty thing!” she
abruptly says, interrupting me. She opens the box again, looks at
me, I look at her, she turns and looks at Michelle, I look at
Michelle, and Michelle looks at both of us. I sit down as she closes
the box and turns to leave. But at the doorway, she pivots and
returns to my desk. I return to standing and without a word we stare
at each other for several moments, then she lets out a little yelp
and finally leaves. She runs down the hall as if on fire.
“What was that loud noise? WHAT JUST
RAN BY?” Bill emails me.
“Not sure,” I type in response,
“It's like Cloverfield.”
My company phone rings, “I think
you've summoned it,” Bill says.
“I'm not sure. I'm still in shock,”
I say, “Can we get a look at the Google satellite video feed?”
Then, laughing, “I'm not sure it would reveal anything.”
“I'll secure the exits, while you
prepare the tranquilizer darts,” Bill says.
“I got some Pop-Tarts,” I say,
“What flavor?” Bill asks.
“Cherry-cheesecake,” I lie.
“Should work, if we can get her to
swallow,” Bill says, then adds, “Did you know kids are flipping
with flasks on their flops?”
“I have no idea what you're talking
about. I got another call,” I say, bored with the new topic.
“Kids with flip...” Bill begins as
I hang-up the phone.
Hillary has called all sales people
into our conference room, or as we call it 'The Situation Room'.
She's explaining the situation to about a dozen people. One dope
interrupts her and reminds her that we could download the data from
the Internet and burn our own DVD, which she ignores. Bill is seated
across from me eating a ham sandwich. I'm eating a chocolate mint
“Kids with flasks attached to their
flip-flops,” Bill text-messages to my iPhone.
“What do I do with my ankle flask?
STOP SPAM TEXTING ME, THIS IS IMPORTANT,” I text back.
“I need a leg cast flask! STOP
SPAMING ME!” he volleys back.
Barry, our freshman sales person,
walks-in late to the meeting and sits down in a chair to my right.
Hillary makes certain everyone knows he has arrived late, then begins
explaining the situation from the top.
Barry scribbles a note and passes it to
me, “Couldn't we burn a CD?”
“A DVD,” I write back on the same
“Yes,” I respond.
“So what's this all about?” Barry
“Gray's Anatomy withdrawal,” I
write along the edge of the sticky note.
“Grey's Anatomy?” Barry writes.
I motion towards Hillary as if to say,
“Pay attention, kid,” then tear the sticky note in two.
Bill turns his half-eaten sandwich
towards me, pulls apart the two slices of bread revealing layers of
pink ham. He opens and closes the sandwich in tandem with what
Hillary is saying, mocking her. I laugh at this and accidentally
drop what remains of my Balance bar, which I quickly pickup and begin
“Two second rule,” I text Bill.
“SPORES!” He texts backs,
mouthing, “C-Dif,” and pointing at John.
I immediately spit out a ball of
salivated, chewed chocolate into a napkin and rinse out my mouth with
a bit of Trump water, sending Bill into a fit of quiet laughter.
Michelle enters the
situation room and informs Hillary that I have an important meeting -
which I do - and she excuses me from the meeting. As I'm leaving the
room I hear someone, I think the dope that interrupted Hillary,
sneeze, and Bill texts me, “SARS.”
Weeks is a writer for On Top Magazine and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. The Gay Slant
pops-in most Saturdays at On Top Magazine.
PS – Make sure to check-out our new Pride Guide 2008.