The Empire State Building lighted in rainbow colors for Pride weekend in New York.
The Republican-controlled New York Senate Friday evening passed marriage equality legislation 33-29, making the Empire State the sixth to open the institution unreservedly to same-sex couples. New York joins Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont --- plus the District of Columbia.
Although unintentional, the vote (and signing into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo) launched Pride Weekend in New York, commemorating the June 28, 1969, Stonewall uprising, generally considered the start of the gay rights movement. The Lord moves in mysterious ways ….
Out here on the prairie, as negotiations on the bill continued, I lived my edgy gay lifestyle, after taking a nap, by mowing the back 40 in what I think is a highly creative circular pattern.
That was the lawn guy’s fault. He showed up to spray poison on the front and side yards Friday morning, where I usually begin mowing, confining me for 24 hours to the back yard. Once I started mowing in circles around the medicine wheel garden, I couldn’t stop.
After that, I came inside and watched the New York vote via live streaming. Pretty subversive stuff.
The loser, after all was said and done, probably was the religious community. Not because of its advocacy on the conservative end for a traditional concept of marriage --- understandable --- but for many of its tactics and outright exaggerations and lies.
The images I carried away from watching the goings-on in Albany off and on during the last week included video of a member of a delegation of Orthodox Jews spitting on a Reform rabbi, delaring her “not a Jew,” because of her advocacy for equality --- and probably because she was a woman.
And comments Thursday from Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, among leading campaigners against the legislation: “You think it’s going to stop with this? You think now bigamists are going to want their rights to marry? You think somebody that wants to marry his sister is going to now say ‘I have a right’? I mean, it’s the same principle, isn’t it?”
Well, not quite.
The curious thing about the ongoing fuss about marriage equality, and it’s far from over, is that LGBT people have moved increasingly to the fore as leading proponents of the institution as heterosexual people have come increasingly, if actions speak, to devalue it. Go figure.
There’s no guarantee same-sex couples will be better at marriage than opposite-sex couples --- but it’s kind of nice to know that some among us at least still have faith in it, expressed by action rather than by empty, hypocritical and inflammatory rhetoric.
Thunder’s rumbling in the hills this morning and the sidewalk’s getting wet. I had planned to finish off the lawn today with a series of straight cuts and carefully calculated angles, all very butch. That may not be possible now.