OutLoud: Cheers!

Sally toasts the happy same-sex couples marrying in California.

By Sally Sheklaw

Sally74Mazel 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 joyful tears. We raise our glasses to you—and to your brilliant California Supremes. 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 also because the haters will stop at nothing to interrupt your marital bliss. Their campaign will haul out every scary, phobic, disgusting stereotype to bully voters into voting against equality in November. Who better than the homo-boogeyman (boogeyperson?) to advance the bad guys’ regressive politics? They will 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) one another.

These anti-gay-marriage wackos have yet to provide one single sane answer to any of our probing questions (and how we love to probe). How do other people’s marriages threaten theirs? What’s so holy about hetero matrimony? (Note the divorce rate.) What about the reams of research proving that children of same-sex parents fare no worse—and, statistically, even function somewhat better—than het spawn? 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. We all know the religious right’s wet dream is to install an all-out theocracy.

But lucky for Californians, justice has prevailed. There’s no going back now. The invitations are engraved, the bands are booked, and the champagne is already flowing.

So is the cash, by the way. Same-sex weddings provide way more economic stimulus than Bush’s $600 hush money. Business for wedding planners, bakers, and hotels started booming the moment the court’s decision hit the news. Jewelers, tailors, restaurants, and florists are riding high. Gift registries can barely keep up. (Thank you, Macy’s!) 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?

Leave it to the Golden State and the movie capital to proclaim, “Show me the money!” If anything will win us our equal rights, it’s the good ol’ ca-ching, ca-ching.

Ellen’s got it right. Don’t let the evildoers’ 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 woman (or man) 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.


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