First let me say how incredibly happy I am (before I undertake an exquisitely footnoted attack on the Mormons’ attack on my family)

I am truly, insanely happy that Obama was elected. An American miracle. Or, perhaps, just the latest proof of the genius authored by the Founders. Either way. There’s no way to play it down or understate it. In fact I can’t quite write about it yet because I’m still not convinced I’m not dreaming. More later I promise.

And I am thrilled (and honestly shocked, given how poorly she campaigns despite her success at governing) that Chris Gregoire is still our Governor. I couldn’t have dealt with Rossiocracy. We avoided that, and even got death with dignity. Here in Seattle we even got money for parks and our beloved Pike Place Market.

Of course, the bitter must come along with the sweet.

And I am bitter about Prop 8 in California. While we were in Palm Springs last weekend, we met several newlywed couples. To have that stripped away would be unimaginable. And now that it’s been done in California, none of our rights are safe anywhere.

Knowing that your marriage will soon cease to exist must feel pretty much like this video shows it.

I do hate to pick on the Mormons. I have LDS friends, employees and coworkers.  (I also know plenty of gay former Mormons — it’s hard to feel sorry for someone’s religious upbringing given my Nazarene childhood, but being a gay Mormon must take the cake.) There is a strong tradition of charity (at least for the faithful poor) in the church that I respect.

But the fact is that the Mormon church was the largest donor to the Yes on 8 campaign — apparently as part of a larger strategy to “make their bones” with Christian conservatives. (Good luck there — they are only nice about the Catholics to their faces at the anti-abortion rallies. In their churches, they talk about how sad it is you’re going to hell.)

Here’s the thing. Do not pick a fight with gay and lesbians. We have time on our hands and bear a grudge. While we’re upset that the black vote might have put 8 over the top, they get a pass. And they didn’t buy millions of dollars worth of ads demonizing us. You did. I still can’t figure out how talking about other folks’ marriages is a win for Mormons. But I digress.

We. Are. Pissed. And: You. Are. Outnumbered.

Yes, Mormons breed at a high rate and your hot little missionaries (no, really — click that link!) are peddling magic underwear all through the developing world, but miraculously we spring forth in all times and in all places — almost like God wanted it that way. When Joseph Smith had his vision, we had already been fighting repression and undermining the dominant paradigm — with style — for millennia.  Whether we are 10% or 5% or just 1% of the population, you will have to baptize a lot of dead Jews before there are more Mormons than queers. You have 13 million and change. We are a tolerant people and would have been happy, more than happy, to let your proselytize your way to a big happy planet of spirit babies. But you just had to go there.

To be sure — there are lots of Mormons who are terribly unhappy with the church leadership’s decision to go all in on Prop 8. And as for those Mormons who “judge not” spoke up in the media or in their congregations, or just wearing paper bags on YouTube, I salute you. And thank you. And apologize for slandering your faith. But your church has slandered me, and my family and, really, my personhood.

So… a few ideas to share about how we might show you what you get when you mess with my family:

  • As a marketer, I know there are laws governing product claims… you folks sure do make a lot of claims about that underwear. It would be a darn shame if someone sued you for that.
  • Your missionaries, with their white shirts, black ties and eco-friendly bikes, are very visible when they roll into town. Just as there is no law about their ringing on my doorbell during dinner, there’s no law against organizing to follow along behind them whenever they roll into town. In discreet vehicles of course. We could follow up your earnest little visits with additional information not contained in the book of Mormon. Maybe even some free DVDs. It’s not like we could be less factual, or more disrespectful, than the misinformation you spread about gays.
  • This one’s my favorite.Your local gays put on a pretty respectable little Pride Parade in Salt Lake City. But really, we can do better. Boycotts are so… 2004. So I propose calling all of June, 2009 as a “reverse boycott.”

I’m not a huge fan of Pride Parades… it’s our guaranteed five minutes airtime every year and all we get on the news at 11 is floats and leather daddies and party boys. I have always wished for a little more balance, a little more insight into our profound everyday un-fabulousness. But your support of Prop 8 shows that no matter how much we show you that all we want is the right to have a family as boring as yours, you still need to demonize us and take away our rights. It would appear we have reached the limits of assimilationism. So I say we should bring to Tabernacle Square a spectacle that would make the Castro blush for SLC Pride… I will personally don harness and chaps and wear body glitter. We can bring a parade of Dykes on Bikes a mile long. We can turn out the fetish gear, the bulls, the bears, the otters, the foot fetishists, the subs and doms, the pony boys and the dirt fags and more twinks than a Hostess factory on overtime could ever churn out. We will make the streets dark with our gayness and into the long shadows of high desert evening we will defile your Mecca. Because in taking away our rights in California, where Milk shed his blood for our freedom, you defiled ours.

That’s just for starters. When you’ve started letting your young back out on the streets, we’ll go underground on you.  We’ll book ourselves into your big hotels and your little B&Bs owned by bluehaired retirees and just keep on bringing the gay to the heart of Mormondom. We’ll continue for the entire month to dress up in our nicest, Republicanest clothes and walk into your temples, your restaurants and really anywhere else where you think your family is smugly secure from the world of people who wear regular underwear and don’t believe we’ll get our own personal paradise planets if we pray to the angel Moroni. We will quietly, silently invade every last inch of your reality and when you least expect it we will quietly, calmly start passing out our literature just as smilingly as your upstanding youth do on the doorsteps of the world. Everywhere you go — to your Wal-Marts and your Little League games — we will be there. Just like you have invaded our homes and our lives. Not so much civil disobedience, as civil omnipresence. Because unlike you, we are everywhere.

You have shown that you hate us for our efforts to gain respectability and stability. If you can hate a gay family’s attempts to protect itself, you must really love to hate. Being the accomodating people we are, we will bring you even more to hate — the dirtiest, raunchiest, most offensive we have to offer. And you will really, really hate it. And the more you hate, the more the world will see your faith for what it is: an idiotic cult built on misogyny, bigotry and hatred that is doomed for the dustbin of history.

But don’t worry. When your faith is gone, or dwindled to a persecuted remainer afraid to leave its inbred compounds in the desert, we gays will carry on your memory.

We will wear that sexy magic underwear of yours in our gay pride parades forever. Anything that strange will always be hot.

A new take on the immigration debate

Ok, maybe not that new, but, I’m quite happily gorged on tamales made by some folks who aren’t necessarily entirely documented, so…

I’m going to say that America is better place with taco trucks, run by Mexicans, intending to feed Mexican tastes. Whereas places like Chili’s and Azteca are a cancer on the American sense of taste (and barely qualify as food), it’s rather difficult to find a bad taco truck. And since Mexican food is clearly thousands of times better than any homegrown “American food”, America will be a better place to live with more people from Mexico here to feed us and teach us how to cook properly.

And true, it goes for most Latin American cultures. Papusas, arepas, ceviche, empandas, tamales…We’re better off with more, more, more influence from Latin America on our cuisine. And what is more important and vital to survival, community, and happiness than good food? I hereby call for an exemption for immigrants who can cook and save us from “American food” to better the country.

Ok, I admit, part of it is that I have only experienced “American meatloaf” and Kraft macaroni and cheese since meeting my husband, and I’m frankly nonplussed by what my mother called “white people food” when I was growing up (she’s Sicilian). Part of it is that what I’ve experienced of “American” food is bland and uninteresting and leaves most of any given animal as waste. Part of it is that a particular taco truck in NJ that makes transcendant sopes worth spending the money on the croos-country ticket home. But a lot of it is that, well, once you get some good cabeza or lengua tacos at a local taco truck, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would ever eat a KFC original recipe breast. Or, for that matter a really good mole pablano enchilada makes a corn dog seem like a sacrilege.

More Mexicans in the US equals better food for America.

P.S. Oh, and I’ve involved myself in a weirdand frustrating debate with some Microsofty who thinks that “Daddy’s Roommate” will undermine all the good in America. I’m feeling disillusioned. I thought Microsoft only hired people with “Intellectual Horsepower” not idiotic homophobia. Really, they hire people that stupid? That completely and unabashedly bigoted? I thought Microsoft had standards! So disheartening. Remind me that there are good people out here who care more about the basis of the constitution than trying to create a fundamentalist christian theocracy. Please. I’ll sleep better. And remind me that people who think that way are a minority, and won’t destroy what this country stands for.

And give me reason to believe that Sarah Palin isn’t trying to be this century’s George Wallace, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Oh and P.P.S–In addition to donating to Obama’s campaign, remember to contribute to the no on Prop 8 in California. And if you’re a California voter, god, if she exists, will likely smile on you for voting no.

Married in California

I just discovered from this useful guide to gay marriage from the LA Times that as of 5:01PM on Monday, Jay and I will be married in California, thanks to our Vancouver, BC Wedding. I wonder if that means we can now go through immigration at LAX together — several times we’ve been rudely turned back from the podium after approaching it together because we’re “not a family”. (Welcome to the USA!) I wonder if the state law will trump the federal bigotry in this case.

I also learned something quite disturbing in the same article:

You do not have to live in California to marry here, and Massachusetts and New York state will recognize the marriages. Other states may not recognize the marriages, and some, including Wisconsin and Delaware, impose criminal penalties on its residents “if they enter a marriage outside the state that would have been prohibited in the state,” such as gay marriage, according to a fact sheet posted on Lambda Legal’s website. The law in Wisconsin, for example, permits authorities to punish offenders with a fine of up to $10,000 and nine months imprisonment.

Seriously?  A huge-ass fine and nine months in prison just for going through a wedding ceremony in another country or state?  Wisconsin, welcome to my list of places I’ll never visit.

Thank you, Mildred Loving

Loving vs Virginia was the seminal 1967 US Supreme Court case that finally recognized that despite a majority of Americans being opposed to it, it was simply wrong to make interracial marriage illegal. And now on the 40th anniversary of that decision, the wonderful Mrs Loving reflects on that time and how it applies to our situation today. You must read and be moved by the entire statement, but I wanted to highlight this part:

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others.

Thank you, Mrs Loving, for your bravery then and your wisdom now.

Nonsensical laws: Not just for gays anymore

With enough signatures from Washington voters, Initiative 957 might be the next Defense of Marriage proposition to be put to voters next election. If passed by Washington voters, I-957 would:

  • add the phrase, “who are capable of having children with one another” to the legal definition of marriage
  • require that couples married in Washington file proof of procreation within three years of the date of marriage or have their marriage automatically annulled
  • require that couples married out of state file proof of procreation within three years of the date of marriage or have their marriage classed as “unrecognized;”
  • establish a process for filing proof of procreation; and
  • make it a criminal act for people in an unrecognized marriage to receive marriage benefits

If the Washington State supreme court can deny same-sex partners marriage rights on the basis of being unable to biologically procreate, then it’s only logical that all couples who can’t have kids be denied those benefits also, right?

I wouldn’t be surprised if it were, but this proposition isn’t sponsored by some fundie Christian group. It’s being put forth by the gay-rights group WA-DOMA to highlight the hypocrisy of the Supreme Court ruling and indeed of all “defense of marriage” laws around the country. The initiative has no chance of passing, of course, but if it gets on the ballot the point is made. And (to paraphrase a commenter on Slog), if hell freezes over and it does get on the ballot and pass then it will just have to be declared unconstitutional … along with the gay-marriage ban. So sign on!

(Thanks to Carol for the tip.)

Still Married in Canada

The future of same-sex marriage is secured in Canada, as a Conservative bill to revisit the issue failed 175-123 on a free vote. More MPs supported same-sex marriage than in the last vote on the issue in June 2005. This effectively closes the issue in Canada, meaning that Jay and I will be married in Canada forever.

It still means nothing legally here in the States, but (with a hat tip to my Mum) it might well make a difference should we decide to move to Australia, where my home state of South Australia has just passed an equal-rights law for domestic partners both heterosexual and same-sex, bringing it in line with other Australian states.

Dublin for the 2008 Bingham Cup

Competition to host the 2008 Bingham Cup (the bi-annual rugby event named for United 93 hero and gay rugger Mark Bingham) is fierce. The Dublin team has produced this professional and appealing proposal:

Although I played in the inaugural event in San Francisco 2002 and Jay and I both played in London in 2004, I’m afraid our days of competing at this level are past. But if Dublin wins, I’ll go to cheer on the Quake!