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July 8, 2011 - Ron Hart
June 29, 2011 -
By Ron HartNew York lawmakers worked late into Friday night to OK gay marriage. Gays in the East Village disco-danced and sang into the wee hours of the morning - and then when they heard the news, they really got excited.
The vote was close: 29 voted nay and 33 voted "fabulous!" There had not been that much drama in the gay community since the Tony Awards. Soon gay weddings will be as common in New York as a Donald Trump nuptial.
The next day was the Gay Pride Parade (good luck finding a dog groomer), which followed the Puerto Rico Day Parade. Because of its high taxes, New York City has a parade-based economy.
Former New York Governor David Paterson got the gay ball rolling when he said he would support a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer and New York resident Bill Clinton came out in favor, as did liberal ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner. It had to be nice to have men who so value marriage on your side.
Drama unfolded as Republican fence-sitters on the issue, GOP Senators Greg Ball and Michael Long (their real, not porn, names), could not agree. Greg and Michael were able to work out their differences after spending an enchanting weekend antiquing on Cape Cod.
New Hampshire has already legalized gay marriage; its motto is now "Live Free or Bi." Maine has toyed with it, after years of having the state's top touched inappropriately by Canada. I am still not sure why Iowa legalized gay marriage; maybe just to create something to do in that state. My guess is that somehow ethanol subsidies were involved.
Now New York recognizes same-sex unions. And, if you walk around New York, you can too. It's a sport for my mom.
This vote upsets the religious right, but if recognizing same-sex marriages goes well, maybe someday a Baptist will be allowed to recognize another Baptist in a liquor store.
Even George Bush was willing to recognize civil unions - which, like marriages, are arrangements that focus on the pragmatic mutual business interests of both partners. New Yorkers saw how well this type of arrangement has worked for Bill and Hillary Clinton.
There is no residency requirement, so folks from out of state can get all gay-married in New York. Now wedding planners in Alabama can plan their own weddings in New York. And Alabama will miss out on the business the weddings would bring, because you know these guys will go all out.
The details of gay marriage remain to be worked out. For example, when two men are driving, who says he is not lost and who insists they should ask for directions?
Personally, I do not care what gay people do as long as they do not try to do it to me. Mine is a live-and-let-live view, so long as you don't harm others.
It is funny to see some Republicans harp on the importance of states' rights and the Tenth Amendment, but then reverse themselves on gay marriage when states vote in the affirmative. The GOP is spending trillions trying to put Al Qaeda out of business; with the Defense of Marriage Act, they are now going after IKEA.
The supposedly "minimal government, minimal intrusion" right wing of the GOP believes that being gay is a choice, and therefore something to be regulated. What they need to understand is that their hypocritical view defies logic and science. You know what is really a choice? Voting Republican.
Obama stonewalled gays when he controlled the House and Senate. With an election looming, he has tapped his strategic Appletini reserve by bending on gay rights only at the state level. Nothing says "intellectual honesty" like a half-black product of the 60s saying this is a states' rights issue while healthcare is a federal imperative.
People are married in church and get their marriage licenses at courthouses - clearly the purview of religion or local governments, not the Feds. The federal government couldn't organize a rehearsal dinner.
To those who fret about this, let it go. We as a nation face much bigger issues than two consenting, adult women registering for wedding gifts at Home Depot and combining their ceramic cat collection. After Massachusetts legalized same-sex unions, the first lesbian marriage quickly ended in divorce, citing irreconcilable similarities.
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