Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Day Without a Gay

In the wake of a majority of voters in California having officially taken away the human right of marraige from same-sex couples, Melissa Etheridge has announce she and her wife, er, "special lady friend" won't pay taxes to the state since they are being denied the same rights and tax benefits heterosexual married couples get to enjoy. Mass protests have been staged at headquarters and temples of the Mormons, the religious sect that committed the very un-American act of mixing religion and goverment by pouring upwards of $1 million into writing discrimination into California's Constitution. Petitions are being circulated to have the tax-exempt status taken away from the Mormon church, as it should also be done for the Catholic Church, whose Conference of Bishops got involved in the battle from the pulpits and by giving a quarter-million dollars of church-going Catholics' money to upholding the institution of marriage as between one man and one woman. [Gives new meaning to the term "bully puplpit," eh?] The same should also be done to whatever tax breaks the Knights of Columbus enjoys, as well, given their involvement in "protecting" marriage from the gays.

Protests, petitions, lawsuits and the like may make some noise, but I'm not so sure of how effective any of it would be in reversing what more than 50 percent of Californians voted into law this past week. Some supporters of equal marriage rights say, "let's just chill for now, step back and be heartened by the gains in public support we've made and work for the next couple/few years to win over those who were swayed by the Mormon/Catholic/fanatic Republican campaign of fear." Others suggest that since equal marraige is not as big a deal to people in their 20s and 30s as it is to those in their 60s and older, that, hey, if we just wait a few years for enough of the old folks to die off, then the electorate that is left will grant us the same rights as they enjoy. Yeah, I can't seem to recall the speech that Dr. King agve where he said, "a majority of the young white people today think we negroes are more or less equal to them. If we just wait for the old white people to die off, we will eventually overcome!"

Until their involvement in this campaign to strip a small minority of their rights bankrupts [financially -- they're already there morally] the Mormon and Catholic churches and their associated organizations and allies, I have a better idea, one that will hit that 52 percent or so of Californians who voted for Prop. 8 where they will feel it most.

Where is that? Everywhere; their coffee shops, their restaurants, their nightclubs, their salons, their schools, their workplace IT departments ... everywhere. How does this happen? Easy. By staying home. Call it a great gay blue flu. Like that movie "A Day Without a Mexican," where there were no landscapers, no nannies, no cooks, no dishwashers, no day laborers, no hotel workers, a lot fewer mechanics, and less lawyers, teachers, TV newspeople, athletes, etc. because all the Mexicans took the day off, well, every gay, no matter what they do for a living, should just take the day off. Imagine the havoc it would cause! The businesses that would have to shut down for the day! The frantic people who could not get their special coffee in the morning or brunch in the late morning, the department and specialty stores that would be empty because all the retail queens stayed home to watch "Ugly Betty" and "ANTM" DVDs. Of course, this would also include all the gay and lesbian teachers and doctors, lawyers and cooks, bank tellers, concierges, waiters, executive assistants, computer technicians, wedding planners, (oh, especially wedding planners), etc., etc.

Why not? I know it's easy for me, safely practicing my nearly invisible punditry from thousands of miles away to tell every gay and gay-supportive person [yeah, I just expanded the boundaries here of this action. I'm inclusive like that] to call in for a day (oh hell, make it two days) of civil disengagement, but what else can you do, what other form of protest can get the idea through to those who voted to strip this segment of the population of their rights of the fact that it is insane and ridiculous to pour so much time and effort and money into fighting something that threatens them in no way whatesover?

Additionally, some people want a boycott of the state of Utah, because that's where the Mormon church is headquartered. Great, but why not extend that boycott to California? If you're watching this unfold from one of the other 49 states, hold off on that California vacation for a while. Turn the state of California into Sun City -- if you are a gay or gay-suportive musician or movie producer/director, don't tour in California and film that movie of yours somewhere else this time (Toronto! Chicago! Both places would love your movie business and are very gay-friendly) . 

If your organization, whether it is an association of gay journalists, travel agents, accountants -- or anything from housewares to electronics to specialty candy -- has an annual convention, take that convention anywhere but California. Hey, Steve Jobs, you and Apple fought against Prop. 8, well, why not move your MacWorld and other events out of the state until the voters of California come to their senses?

This is Apartheid, and the places that provide a home for it should be treated like Sun City.

No comments: