Gay Marriage in Iowa? Come on, San Francisco!

If it's not worth it to win marriage equality, to unite to spite the right, it's definitely worth it to stop the insurgent Iowan and Vermontian hubris and salvage our street cred among freaks.
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As a San Franciscan, I am outraged that we've been out-gayed by Iowa and Vermont. Iowa! Iowa is all corn and no hole, for crying out loud. Take it in: the center of gay liberation is now Iowa. Not a huge surprise, as they elected Tom Vilsack Governor, and he has "sack" in his name. Vermont gayified via a gubernatorial veto over-ride, which is the legislative equivalent of the Iron Lotus from Blades of Glory. With Vermont surfing the lavender wave, perhaps the sequel to Milk will be Syrup?

We've been asleep at the wheel, San Francisco. I can't live with the shame. I was raised among gays. I'm the Tarzan of gays. I'm crunk for marriage equality even though I'm not gay, though I do own ramekins. My earliest memories are of attending what were called Gay Freedom Day Parades, before they were sponsored by AT&T and United Airlines.

I'm disappointed we let it come to this. Aren't we supposed to be the Gay Capital? I'm dreading the next issue of Jane, and right after the article about how to plan my Secure Lesbian Retirement, reading about how Halloween in the Castro has moved to Dubuque until further notice. Yikes. I may have to go to Vermont to campaign against gay marriage there, just so we can keep our mojo.

Let's focus, San Francisco! The way to reclaim our stature in the gayousie will be if we repeal Prop 8 at the ballot box, once and for all -- no courts, no inchoate boycotts of Utah, no Mormon-tax-exempt-status-revoking, and no gratuitous blaming of black people. We must unleash San Francisco Values in all their bedazzled glory on the unsuspecting California electorate to prove to ourselves, the nation and The Nation, that marriage equality can enjoy majority support. A decisive ballot triumph will force anti-gay marriage enthusiasts to find another parade to rain on or, if we're lucky, become ironic and retro, like hipsters who pretend to like bluegrass. In the immortal words Martin Luther King, Jr. probably stole from another dude, "The arc of history is long and blah blah blah."

On the other hand, every time we advance gay marriage through the judicial branch, it provokes yet another round of denunciations of "activist judges," right-wing mongering, and Rovian referenda gambits. For all the indignation about activist judges, I keep hoping to see California Chief Justice Ron George sporting an "I Gavel for Abortions" button or a tie-dyed hemp robe, but no such luck. Beating them at the ballot fair and square is the nail in the coffin of all that.

We'd just have to get over the smug satisfaction all liberals inherently derive from being ideologically pure yet socially marginal. It's hard to get too snotty about being countercultural when even obese evangelicals at an exurban Appelbee's are voting our way. We in San Francisco secretly like that gay marriage is illegal. It makes us edgy and subversive. But if it's going to be legal in Iowa then maybe gay marriage isn't cool anymore. Maybe it jumped the shark. Like how we all stop liking obscure rock bands when they "sell out" by making an "album" and selling their "t-shirts" at Hot Topic.

Winning such an election will be hard for us San Franciscans. For starters, we may have to wake up before 10am occasionally. We may need to fit persuading regular voters into our busy schedule of Burning Man decompression parties, Yelp, and sad documentaries.

If it's not worth it to win marriage equality, to unite to spite the right, it's definitely worth it to stop the insurgent Iowan and Vermontian hubris and salvage our street cred among freaks. To quote the distinguished political consultant Jon-Luc Picard: "The. Line. Must. Be. Drawn. Here!"

Nato Green is a San Francisco-based comedian.

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