Gay Apocalypse Now

In case you're dangerously unaware, gay couples all over the planet are secretly plotting to destroy the bedrock of modern civilization. No, it's not TiVo they're after, or even Ben and Jerry's ice cream. What they want is something even more precious. What the homosexuals want -- is marriage.

And how are these diabolical, tux-wearing Adam and Steves, or wedding-dress-with-hiking-boots-wearing Alice and Eves going to ruin marriage once and for all, possibly also causing the world economies to collapse and the ozone hole to grow more gigantic? By getting married themselves, of course. Will this gay reign of terror never end?

For those of you who can't see the obvious connection between gay marriage and the apocalypse (probably because angry, militant, family-hating homosexual activists have blinded you with their glitter and sequins and glossy hair products), the conservatives provide this clear and insightful explanation: "Um, well, because, you see, if they, you know -- well, then we'd um -- it's just wrong, dammit!"

Thankfully, smart and caring conservatives recognized this frightening threat to marriage and declared October 12-18 "Marriage Protection Week." This fun-filled "Hetero is Bettero" celebration reminds everyone that marriage is only for straight, straight, straight people (like, say, J-Lo and Ben, or Kobe Bryant), and that gay marriage, despite the bridesmaids and champagne and I'll-love-and-honor-you-forever, is the undisputed spawn of Satan and, as such, should be bludgeoned with a hot poker.

If you're reading this and you're still married, consider it amazing good fortune that you have, so far, survived the pink piranha attack on your holy nuptials.

Doesn't matter who you're married to or how miserable or locked in or battered or for the kids or third time's a charm or shotgun or Las Vegas or met online last week or Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire or extramarital affairs or 50 percent failure rate or TV Divorce Court or deadbeat dads or swingers or child abuse or did it for money or for the green card or oh what the heck let's do it baby or anything else at all. Long as you're a girl and he's a boy, then you're model citizens and the sun comes out and birdies sing and the world is ever so much better and safer and just.

President Bush, himself a pillar of morality, signed the proclamation supporting "Marriage Protection Week." Dubya defined marriage clear as day, as "a union between a man and a woman," then reminded us "its protection is essential to the continued strength of our society." Finally, with a God Bless America soundtrack blaring, he begged all freedom-lovin' Amerkins to "continue our work to create a compassionate, welcoming society, where all people are treated with dignity and respect." All people, that is, except gay people.

But gay marriage is small potatoes, isn't it? A tiny splinter of an issue in the vast important agenda of the conservative far right, er, I mean the Republican Party.

Not so. If the political game here is tag, gay marriage is "it." And a White House proclamation or a weeklong anti-gay fest will not satisfy the sharks of the far right when there's blood in the water.

"We are committed to using every tool at our disposal to ensure that marriage in America remains exclusively one man and one woman," said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, a right-wing political lobbying group. Perkins has friends in high places, like Congress and the White House.

A Constitutional amendment banning legal recognition of gay relationships, including marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships has the support of 90 members of Congress, with more signing on every month. Never mind that it would be the first time in U.S. history the Constitution would be changed to deny rights to a specific group of people.

In California, the new domestic partnership benefits signed into law by outgoing Governor Davis already face two lawsuits and a possible referendum to stop them. And anti-gay marriage laws are being proposed in cities and states across the country. In places where these laws have already passed, new laws are being proposed to "strengthen" the old ones. There is indeed blood in the water.

The other night in bed, my partner rolled over in his sleep, took all the blankets with him, and started snoring. Lovely. I looked over at him and thought about what conservatives say: that our relationship threatens the very fabric of western civilization.

When he brought me coffee this morning, kissed my forehead and said, "Hi sweetie," I tried to figure out how our love undermines straight marriages.

To borrow a phrase from writer Dorothy Allison, there are only two or three things I know for sure. One of them is that gay marriage is a locomotive that cannot be stopped. I just hope in my lifetime to be able to ride that train.

Patrick Letellier is a freelance journalist in San Francisco. Contact him at LetPatrick@yahoo.com or at PatrickLetellier.com.

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