Funny, an old friend of mine (who was gay) didn't see the point of gay marriage, though he believed that gay partnerships should of course be granted the same privileges, legal entitlements etc. Personally, I don't see why gays shouldn't be allowed marry if they wish. The "family values" argument is lunacy. As Durcan put it, "the most subversive unit in the world is the human family." I shared an apartment with my girlfriend on Cole St., San Francisco for 6 months in 1982, and I distinctly remember the first time I noted a gay couple walking hand in hand down the street in the afternoon. The ordinariness of it gave me a nice warm feeling, as if I had woken up in a far saner world.
Your last image, Mark, reminds me of this line I quoted from Steve Earle on my blog a while back, on why he lives in Greenwich Village:"I need to be able to walk out of my door and see a same-sex biracial couple walking down the street holding hands. That makes me feel safe."
One writer at The Advocate last week wrote of walking around San Francisco after Prop 8 passed looking at each passerby with a visceral mistrust and anger, knowing that just over one in two had voted to ban same-sex marriages: "Did you vote against me? Did you vote against me?" She was in San Francisco where the Prop 8 lost. I live in San Diego where it was 65% or higher voting "against me", and I have to admit, that visceral experience has been there in waves. A friend was sharing the Sunday before the election about her business plans in San Francisco for next spring. The fiscal impact of the expected influx of gay and lesbian tourists coming to California to marry were in the low billions for the next decade (before Prop 8 passed). My friend was launching a wedding planning business for lesbians. I remember thinking, while watching her share her plans so excitedly with others, "What if Prop 8 passes?" Which it did. And I realize that I was already cynical enough about it to accelerate my own wedding plans and elope with Leslie in September, so that now our original wedding party on a Caribbean Cruise in the New Year is a "renewal of vows" (if our marriage isn't annulled) or is as illegal as it was last year on the cruise when we got engaged. And ... I too feel safest when there are mixed races and out gay people walking around ... then I know it's safe to hold hands with my (wife).
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