It’s been a year or more …

A Year of Boring Nothingness

by Jim Hlavac

It has been a year and a little more since gay folks were included in marriage laws. It has been incredibly boring. Nothing much has happened – except well, some 500,000 to 1,000,000 gay couples got married. The numbers aren’t in yet – but surely in that range. They all got the officiant of their choice, and their venue, their cakes and gowns and tuxes and flowers and photographers and caterers and went on their honeymoons and all that pertains to the happy joining of two people in love. And nothing much happened to anyone else, perhaps great-aunt Mary had the vapors for a bit. It has not made the news, in fact. Not a peep about the weddings that went off without a hitch.

It is true that two bakers, one in Oregon and one in Colorado, were penalized for publicly refusing to serve a gay wedding. But two out of the numbers of gay marriages is not bad. Obviously the nation’s other some 6,000 bakers I’m told exist had no issues with making cakes for gay couples. Two did. To be sure there was a gay cad down in Texas who tried to say there was such an issue. He was quickly uncovered as a hoax and he disappeared. I don’t think people should be penalized for refusing service – but it has been a contentious issue for the Irish, Blacks, Chinese, Japanese, Jews and many others too I’m sure. And over the decades it was recognized, and codified, that refusing service for such characteristics is wrong. There’s even laws everywhere that say “you can’t discriminate on the basis of marital status” – and now especially gay folks have such a status. It’s not like it’s a new law, they’ve been around for decades. None of them say “Except homosexuals.”

There was one florist and one photographer who were penalized for refusing service. Again, thousands of providers provided what was paid for. Gay folks are paying for all this – it’s not a government program you know. Who knows how many small business owners on Main Street got a small boost in earnings from the weddings that went off without a hitch? There must have been some economic impact.

There was a mechanic shop in Wisconsin, or Minnesota – somewhere up there – who announced he would not fix the trucks of gay men. Not a gay man had went near the guy, but he felt it necessary to announce he was not going to earn a few bucks from gay men. It is a strange business practice to refuse money from shoppers. Actually, it’s lesbians who tend to own trucks among us. Perhaps he would still serve them, he didn’t say.

There was a wedding chapel up in Idaho who preemptively announced that they too would not serve gay folks. None had asked them to. They just wanted to make sure we knew we were not welcome where we did not want to go – and drum up a little business for themselves.

In fact, all the victims of gay shoppers have set up gofund me pages and other fund raising tools and have raised stupendous funds. The mere threat of a gay shopper seems to elicit donations by the 10s of thousands of dollars. We don’t even get a thank you.

The pizza shop in rural Indiana probably did the best. They raised something like a $1,000,000. All because a heterosexual reporter went out to the boondocks 30 miles from the nearest gay guy to ask if some fine people in the middle of nowhere would – if improbably asked – would they serve pizza to a gay wedding and deliver it 30 miles away. The nation went haywire over this unlikely scenario. You know, I have been to a fair number of weddings – you probably have too. Did you ever hear of pizza at a wedding reception? Ever? And don’t pizza shops have like a delivery zone – you know, call the next Pizza Hut over?

One county clerk in all America – 3064 counties, 25 independent cities – and one clerk had a fit and would not issue licenses to the few gay couples that could have conceivably come to her rural county office and asked for one. Kim Davis, married 4 times, divorced 3, and children out of wedlock, had her Biblical scruples plain as day over gay men or lesbian couples together for decades right there in her tiny hometown. She too earned a tidy sum for her stand. I’m sure a forthcoming book or movie is in the works, to milk her celebrity status. She will not thank us for giving her the opportunity of a lifetime.

And what else? Did I miss anything? Yes, “homosexual activists” had their say, some where obnoxious. Makes us seem kind of normal, yes? Like any in the political class, was it important what they said? Did it affect your life? And though both liberal and conservative alike still speak of “Gay rights” – there is no such thing. There are only American and Human Rights. America defines them better – a little bit tattered of late, I agree. But the gay thing is worldwide. It’s not happening in America. It’s happening in Cairo and Teheran, and Beijing, Moscow and Warsaw, and Kuala Lumpur and Nairobi and Lagos and across Africa and down to Buenas Aires, Santiago and Mexico City and beyond. It’s worldwide. The same symbols, the same words. Stonewall, gay, LGBT, the rainbow flag – it’s worldwide – the same people who ask to be included, just as we are. We will not change, never.

You might still think it wrong and against your God. I don’t mind. But we have our God. And we all have the right to our own God. But doom was foretold, and all manner of concerns were bandied about. And has anything happened? No, not really. Except for the folks who got married. It meant very much a great deal to them.

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