Go for the Gold!
Wedding bells to the south
by Sally Sheklow
Mazel tov, California!
You look absolutely beautiful, and the whole world is watching. All eyes are on you as the wedding march plays and somebody walks you down the aisle (not John McCain, even though Ellen invited him so nicely).
When you say I do and kiss your bride (or groom), supporters across the globe will dab our joyful tears. We raise our glasses to you — and to your brilliant California Supreme Court. Congratulations. Clink-clink.
Celebrate. You deserve it. Waltz and party and toss your garters.
Then brace yourself. The bridal (and groomal) path will be bumpy. Not only because sharing life with another person can be challenging for the best of us, but because the haters will stop at nothing to interrupt your marital bliss.
The right-wingers want to change your state constitution to the same discriminatory One-Man/One-Woman restriction that they passed here in Oregon. Take it from us, we know their campaign will haul out every scary, phobic, disgusting stereotype to bully the electorate into voting against equality in November.
Who better than the homo-boogeyman (boogeyperson?) to advance the bad guys’ regressive politics? They’ll whine and cajole and whip up a frenzy about protecting the children. (Never mind that thousands of children are left unprotected when their parents can’t legally marry.) The well-funded fundamentalists are hell-bent on banning your vows to love, honor and cherish (or obey, if that floats your boat).
Ya gotta wonder what makes the homophobes so phobic — could it be their own dreaded desires? Truth is, they have an agenda. And the more they rail, the more they expose their true colors (Hello and thank you, Cindy Lauper). Everybody knows the religious right’s wet dream is to install an all-out theocracy.
Lucky for you, California, justice has prevailed. Your high court ruled that marriage discrimination is unconstitutional. The right-wing push to overturn that ruling by changing your constitution will be ugly, but it cannot succeed. Love and justice are flowing, and there’s no turning back. The invitations are engraved, the bands are booked, and the champagne is already flowing.
So is the cash, by the way. Same-sex weddings are providing waaaay more economic stimulus than Bush’s piddly $600 hush money. Business for wedding planners, bakers and hotels started booming the moment the high court’s decision hit the newswaves. Jewelers, tailors, restaurants and florists are riding high. Gift registries of every stripe can barely keep up, and Macy’s keeps running their wedding registry’s full-page ads showing two mingling wedding rings and the clear as crystal message: “First comes love. Then comes marriage. And now it’s a milestone every couple in California can celebrate.” One UCLA study projects that same-sex unions could boost the state economy to the tune of $370 million. Who’s gonna vote against that?
Up here in Oregon we’re stuck with the best we could get — always a domestic partner, never a bride (or groom). But we’re counting on you, Golden State, to show the country how a state survives this budget crisis. While all your faaaabulous weddings turn your sagging economy around, we’ll be watching — and so will all the other 48 states whose supreme courts have yet to insist on equal marriage rights. We’re witnessing as all those dollars you — and everyone who has their wedding in your non-residency-requirement state — pour into your coffers and all your glorious nuptials pull you out of your budget woes. If anything’s going to win us our equal rights now, it’s the good ol’ ka-ching ka-ching.
Ellen’s got it right. Don’t let the evil doers’ nasty initiative rain on your parade. You’re going to the chapel (and, more importantly, the courthouse). Let your love-light shine. Love changes hearts and minds. Go ahead, plan your honeymoon and celebrate your freedom to marry the person of your dreams. Even John McCain, despite being a total hypocrite, wishes you “every happiness.”
Award-winning writer Sally Sheklow cries at weddings in Eugene, Oregon.