It's hard to express my feelings of hopelessness regarding the current state of gay marriage—or lack of gay marriage. And last Wednesday's decision from our northern neighbor's Supreme Court—which upholds a ban on gay marriage in the state of Washington—didn't help matters.
When I signed up, alongside my partner, to try to help overturn Oregon's own gay-marriage ban (see pretty much half of the last three years' "Queer Window" columns), I knew we'd be in for a long fight. But it feels pretty bleak right now in regard to winning this battle.
Kind of like the mess in the Middle East.
I'm not trying to equate the frustration of gays trying to get hitched with the suffering and death of soldiers and innocent civilians who are in the middle of a war they don't want and didn't ask for. I'll leave the shock-talk for political pie-holes like Ann Coulter, who called Bill Clinton a "latent homosexual" last week on Donny Deutsch's Big Idea cable chat show, because his Oval Office sex life reminds her of how gays act in a bathhouse. And I know some of you think comparing queer rights to World War III is nothing short of self-absorbed bullshit.
But here's why I make the comparison—and, yes, it has to do with our current commander in chief.
President Bush likes to say, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Now, replace the word "terrorists" with "gays."
In the black-and-white construct of how he thinks (and how so many of the people who elected him think), gays are easily demonized, seen as less than human, which makes it that much easier to relegate us to separate-but-equal status.
In Bush's born-again, whitewashed world, queers who want to marry have no better case than members of al-Qaeda or Hezbollah have for their causes.
It's all too easy to imagine Bush leaning over to a fellow world leader, as he did with Tony Blair during the G8 Summit, and saying queers need to "stop doing this shit and it's over," like he did about Syria needing to shut down Hezbollah. (At least we can take solace that Blair could tell him to sod off, because same-sex bonds are legal in the U.K., even for old queens like Elton.)
When the issue of gay marriage first came up, I thought it was a silly idea. Now, because I've learned it scares people and makes for an easy bogeyman any time the Right needs a distraction from its debacle du jour, it's all I think of.
And because of that, I am left with only one conclusion: We have been made into the enemy. So maybe it's time we started acting like one. Truth is, queers are the only ones who will ever wake the rest of this country up from this embarrassing national homophobic nightmare.
I'm not siding with terrorists whose Allah-approved suicide missions are to bomb us back into the Dark Ages. But I'm beginning to understand the fervor that forces otherwise intelligent and educated—and desperate—people to take drastic measures.
I'm not sure it means I'm ready to launch a missile into the next Focus on the Family hootenanny, but it does mean I'm willing to fantasize about declaring a full-out "fagwa." Just imagine how cute our uniforms would look.