This week former vice presidential
nominee Sarah Palin gave an on
camera interview as a turkey was being slaughtered in the
background. As she spoke about how the media was certain to
criticize her for pardoning a bird, the turkey got butchered. Only
days earlier, Palin was offered $7 million for her memoirs.
President-elect Barack Obama garnered
$1.9 million for three books. So who's the turkey here?
Another post-election conundrum
is the new energy found in the gay rights movement after passage of
Proposition 8 – the California constitutional amendment that bans
On Election Day, gay rights advocates
got trounced. In Arizona and Florida, as well as California, voters
approved measures banning gay marriage, and in Arkansas they banned
gay couples from adopting or fostering children. Traditional
suit and tie gay activists warmed up their fax machines,
signed off on their condolences (there's hope in New York) and
left it for another day.
But it wasn't to be.
Anger at the notion that it is fair or
democratic to vote on rights already sanctioned by California's
Supreme Court had been fermenting on the Internet since the
announcement that Proposition 8 would make it on the ballot.
California's anti-gay initiative was a game changer, because in that
state blissful gay and lesbian couples were already marrying.
Gays, lesbians, friends and allies by
the thousands spilled into the streets of California to protest the
new measure that took away the right of gay couples to marry.
Proposition 8 failed to settle the gay
marriage issue in California. Instead it serves as a reminder to gay
activists of the lengths gay marriage foes are willing to go to keep
gays at bay. It has simultaneously managed to embolden gay marriage
ban proponents and energize gays and lesbians.
This week, the state Supreme Court agreed to review three lawsuits challenging the validity of Proposition 8. That's not an endorsement of gay marriage. In fact,
scholars say gay activists have a very slim chance of convincing the
court to throw out the gay marriage ban.
Even so, a ruling won't end anything
either. Both sides have already announced they would fight any
8 proponents say they would work to oust any state Supreme Court
justice that votes to invalidate the gay marriage ban, while opponents of Proposition 8 have already indicated that if
their bid fails, they would seek to place a pro-gay marriage constitutional amendment on the 2010 ballot.
All this left bloggers ready to stuff
and cook those traditional suit
and tie gay activists who they blame for the loss in the first
place. Prominent Atlantic
columnist Andrew Sullivan recently posited on his blog: Is
the Human Rights Campaign relevant? Openly gay Sullivan argues that
the nation's largest gay and lesbian rights organization failed the
gay rights movement in California.
“How many struggles do we have to
wage with these people always, always failing to lead – before we
demand accountability and reform?” Sullivan wrote earlier this
week. “Losing a battle this important should mean, at least, the
rolling of some heads. Or we have no accountability at all. What
are we: the Bush administration?”
Wayne Besen, president of Truth Wins
Out, a group dedicated to exposing the ex-gay myth, sounded a similar
tone when he applauded the efforts of two bloggers who managed to
pull off national protests in 300 cities against Proposition 8 with
simple text messages and Internet-based social invitations.
“[At the rallies] there was an
injection of raw energy and an infusion of new inspiration that has
eluded our movement for more than a decade,” Besen wrote on his
Was Proposition 8 a winner or a turkey?
Just pass me the cranberry sauce.
And it was our own Gay Entertainment Report that brought me news that Tori Spelling's gay-themed film
Kiss The Bride – best described as My Best Friend's
Wedding with a gay twist – is now available on DVD.
The Gay Slant is a feature of On Top
Magazine. Walter Weeks is a writer for On Top and can be reached at