A week of gay marriage dreams fulfilled in California. It has come to my attention that most of the media coverage has been positive – reporters scurrying after Star Trek actor George Takei and partner Brad Altman vying to capture a touching moment on film as the pair obtained a gender-neutral marriage license for a September wedding.

Down the street from the action in West Hollywood, a circus of protesters remained mostly ignored by the media. Later, Conservatives would say they were keeping a low profile, not wanting to spoil the moment.

The positive media spin, of course, bodes well for supporters of gay marriage as they face-off against foes in an upcoming November referendum that would once again ban gay marriage (and possibly invalidate this week's marriages).

The first couple to marry was Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 84, at San Francisco City Hall. Mayor Gavin Newsom officiated the only wedding held on Monday, one minute after the Supreme Court ruling went into effect. The lesbian couple, which has been together over five decades, were also the first to be married in 2004 during the “Winter of Love.”

Outside San Francisco City Hall homophobic Westboro Baptist Church picketed the wedding with signs that read, “God Hates California.”

“Not even the darkest forces can cast a shadow over the joy that so many families, partners and loved ones are treasuring in California today,” said Steve Ralls of PFLAG.

Here's a picture of a threesome stumbling upon Michael Savage.

But a law is succeeding where hate is failing. For members of the Armed Forces “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” trumps “I do.” The policy, which bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, makes it clear that getting married is tantamount to “telling.” And, unlike Massachusetts which also recognizes gay marriage, California is home to the nation's largest active-duty force – at least 120,000 sailors, Marines and soldiers in San Diego County alone.

“The marriage decision in California highlights the cruel choice placed before gay service members: service to country or recognition of family,” said SLDN's Aubrey Sarvis.

With all this hoopla over historic marriages it would be easy to forget the contributions of gay pioneers who first spoke out. On June 22nd we celebrate the contributions of Leonard Matlovich, a decorated Air Force Sergeant who was discharged after revealing his sexuality in a letter he wrote to the Air Force secretary. After years of litigation, he won the right to an honorable discharge. In 1975, he appeared on the cover of Time under the headline “I am a homosexual,” altering the course of the gay rights movement forever.

Matlovich's tombstone in Washington, DC's Congressional Cemetery reads, “When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

In another part of the forest, communist Cuba, a post-Fidel government is working to enhance civil rights for GLBT people. Already, they have passed measures to help transsexuals who wish to alter their gender and are studying the possibility of offering civil unions to gay couples.

In the United States, an author is blaming our government for the current global AIDS crisis. Epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani argues in her book The Wisdom Of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, And The Business Of AIDS that Bush administration rules tying $65 billion to abstinence only programs has translated into higher rates of HIV around the world.

To lower HIV infections, Pisani says, we need a more honest dialog about who acquires HIV. “It would mean spending lots more of the available money on prostitutes, addicts and gay guys, and lots less on school kids, pregnant women and church groups. It would mean making fun things (sex, drugs) safer, instead of trying to make safe things (abstinence, monogamy) fun.”

And it was our own Gay Entertainment Report that brought me news of cable channel here!'s plans to broadcast Channel 4's sexy lesbian drama Sugar Rush in the fall and of gay and lesbian films being screened at Frameline, San Francisco's gay & lesbian film festival.

As if a gay film festival and legal gay marriages were not enough gayness for San Franciscans, don't forget the city celebrates Pride this week as well. Click here for San Francisco Pride events. Click here for Pride events in other cities.

Walter Weeks is a writer for On Top Magazine and can be reached at ww@ontopmag.com. The Gay Slant pops-in most Saturdays at On Top Magazine (www.ontopmag.com).