The deadline for gay-rights opponents to gather their petition signatures is today.

And let's just say Jesus will have really let our state's gay haters down if he didn't help them reach the 50,000-plus valid signatures needed to get their anti-gay message on the ballot in November 2008.

Fact is, their signature-collection efforts in statewide churches have probably made it a done deal. They'll have succeeded in referring Oregon's new gay civil rights laws to voters, asking them to overturn Senate Bill 2, an anti-discrimination measure, and House Bill 2007, the domestic partnership bill.

So, where does this leave gays for the next 14 months until this thing is decided? Well, it's time to go stealth, my friends. We need to start thinking about how our actions might affect the upcoming election. That's why I've come up with a handy guide for gays to make it all go away, so we can win one for a change.

Be Caesar's Wife (or At Least Act Like His Mistress). Way, way, back in the day—100 B.C.—Caesar's marriage to second wife Pompeia ended in divorce because of a scandal that occurred when one of Caesar's cross-dressing associates attended a women's-only event. Gossip hounds tattled that Pompeia herself had abetted this blasphemous act. Caesar divorced her on the grounds that "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion." Time to put the drag back in the closet. Quit burping your Tupperware in public. And try to keep your feet in your own stall, no matter how juicy that piece of pink meat in the glory hole next to you might look.

Act Like a (Gay) Man. "What's the point of being in the public eye if you can't get laid off [of] it?" asks an influential friend of mine. Trouble is, the worst stuff they have on those closeted Republicans is some of the best stuff we queer folk do. So you just have to be careful. For example, take a potential gay mayoral candidate—that gent shouldn't be seen with Abercrombie-wearing, youngish men until, oh, say, Thanksgiving 2008. Sam, that means no texting, no teen birthday parties (no matter how cute they look when they blow out 18 candles), and by all means no sex.

Be Nice to Your (Republican) Neighbors. When chatting up your holier-than-thou neighbors, don't preach about how your rights are about to be yanked out from under you. That didn't work on Measure 36 in '04, and it doesn't look like it's going to work four years later. Just smile and let them prattle on about how nice it is to have neighbors who care as much about their lawns as they do. Pretend not to be offended when they say, "The gays have great green thumbs." But for godsakes, take notes, make lists, and by all means videotape any behavior that can be construed as even the tiniest bit homophobic—there are bloggers out there just waiting for your link to YouTube.

Be Perfect. Think Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins and how she was "practically perfect in every way." All you have to do is swallow your pride and keep your mouth shut. After all that, we can go back to being our gay selves. Hey, then even Sam can have sex. We all know mayoral sex is the best of all—just ask Tom or Bud.