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Posts tagged “gay marriage

A Really Hot Thursday Night in the castro

heres another article from the Beat This Archives of SF Bay Times  Published: May 22, 2008, an auspicious night in a way….           

Last Thursday night it was so damn hot outside I decided to travel over the usually cold and breezy hill between Noe Valley and the Castro and see what other folks were doing to beat the uncommonly oppressive heat of the past couple days.  I don’t know about you, but when the temperature jumps a noted 30 degrees from one day to the next, it generally worries me in that apocalyptic global warming inconvenient truth sort of way.

I start to wonder if maybe the next day will bring temperatures even more extreme, and pets and the elderly will start to die, and maybe a strange virus will suddenly flourish with the heat and turn those infected with it into vampire zombies who prey on the blood of the uninfected who are unfortunate enough to be caught outside after nightfall. And most likely that would be me because I walk around a lot at night, so I would fall prey to this nocturnal viral mutation and then possibly become one of them, which honestly doesn’t seem like my idea of fun based on all the zombie-themed films I’ve watched.  I mean, sure, I would be feared by many, but ultimately I would become a lot less complex, merely driven by my hunger for blood and ultimately I’d probably have my head blown up like a soft melon by some day-walking super-hero, just like in the movies.  But, yeah, that’s what I think about when the temperature jumps 30 degrees from one day to the next – that, or buying a box of rainbow sherbet pop-ups.

As I descended into the Castro I sensed immediately that something had happened, but I didn’t know what.  There was generally a lot more people out and about than usual for a Thursday around midnight, and I just assumed that they, too, were out in response to the heat.  Then I noticed that small handfuls of police were present on busy corners, just standing there calmly, yet at the ready for something, and I thought maybe some part of my viral zombie fantasy was true.

I remained perplexed as I blended into the crowd, thinking about the statistical finding that people are more likely to commit murder when the temperature goes above 96.6 Fahrenheit. Were the cops dispatched because of the sudden rise in temperature? It was then that I decided to test a theory of my own that people are far more likely to have sex when the temperature gets up there.  These were ideal circumstances for my research, as people were out in droves and they were unusually ebullient and uninhibited, with extra amounts of affection and physical contact with each other.

I proceeded to hit some of the places I considered to be hot zones for sex, that is, in the pre-Internet era, like near Beck’s Motorlodge, Collingwood Park, Safeway, and some of your more darkened, tree-lined streets. It was during this trek that I found out from a newspaper that earlier that day the California Supreme Court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriages would indeed be unconstitutional.  Therefore, in about one month gays could legally be married in the state of California. That would explain some of the makeshift bridal veils I’d seen skipping by me in the crowd.

In a way I felt like my nightmarish fantasy had come true.  Yes, I understand what a victory this is for gay people, and I understand how meaningful this day can be for same sex couples who have dreamed of legally marrying for years.  I also see it as a big victory against all those evil, small-minded fundamentalist Christian bigots, all the ignorant Reverends, even the ones who were caught snorting speed and hiring same-sex escorts.  Even the dead ones – and you know Falwell is rolling over in his grave because this decision is like a big ugly sharp stick poking and prodding his worthless corpse and laughing hopefully for eternity or some similar archaic notion of time inherent in the “Jesus is magic” system of beliefs.

I’m aware of the many ways this decision can be viewed as tremendous progress for gay rights, but I’ve never really been a proponent of gay marriage, so I felt a bit alone, like a non-zombie survivor.  I wasn’t overjoyed or emotional, I didn’t rush as quickly as I could to a loved one’s side to propose, because I believe that the institution of marriage is a flawed and unrealistic one, one that has obviously not worked throughout history. The words “till death do us part” describes what a travesty marriage is when over 50 percent of them don’t survive.

I certainly don’t want to rain on everyone’s big gay marriage parade here, but honestly, I’d rather see marriage as we know it abolished and some new kind of civil union created with every individual’s best interests and ability to reap all benefits afforded to all regardless of if the said union were between a man and a woman, two men or two women.

I realize that this notion is very idealistic, and I should probably shut up and just enjoy this enormous victory for gay rights.  Maybe it will be the very thing the state needs to pull us out of economic depression because there will be a massive amount of gay weddings going on all over the state, creating jobs and heightened revenues in many different sectors of the economy.

But this won’t start to happen for at least another month, and though it seems like gays are free and clear to pursue this honored union in the eyes of the state, the opponents to gay marriage, though they can’t really articulate why it is such a threat to the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, are hard at work trying to put a stop to it, though I’m not sure, and nor are they, if this can actually be done now.  They will try to stir up a lot of hatred and fear in the heartland, you know, preying on the ignorance of small minds for knee-jerk fundamentalist reactions based in “fear of a gay planet” and threats to their precious children forced to witness this abomination in the eyes of the Lord and all of the subversive confusion it could cause them.  We may have the green light on this huge change, but believe me, there are forces at hand that will vehemently try to portray gays as public enemy Number One because of this marriage victory.

So as you choose your silver and china patterns and maids of honor don’t think that the battle is completely over.  If they attend gay funeral services to dishonor the likes of Matthew Shephard and even Heath Ledger (go figure that one!), big gay weddings could become targets for inane protests by fundamentalist zealots.    I wonder which high profile gay celebrity will be the first to televise their nuptials or how many reality shows gay marriage will spawn. I wonder how long it will be before we have Gay Divorce Court on television.

For those who are ecstatic about finally being able to be married, I’m glad the milestone is in sight and that your dream has come true.  Perhaps like the gays ability to gentrify less than desirable neighborhoods into higher property values, maybe this is a chance to show the world how marriage should be done.  I’m anxious to see how this plays out over the next few years.