PAT LaMARCHE

We’ll have a gay old time

Posted June 28, 2011, at 7:31 p.m.

I wish I’d been in New York this past weekend. I often feel that way, but in light of Friday’s midnight signing by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, that gay pride parade in Manhattan on Sunday must’ve been a blast.

Now I know a lot of people — like the members of the out-of-touch busy body group the National Organization for Marriage — were pretty bummed that New York became the sixth and largest state to grant marriage equality. But, in democracies the majority rules. And yeah, a 2011 Gallup poll shows 53 percent of Americans support gay marriage. So it’s not just about justice anymore, it’s about the consent of the governed.

Now, we all know what really tweaks the anti-gay activists. And simple reasoning tells us what naughty thoughts preoccupy them. You know, they just can’t stand thinking about people of the same sex — well umm — having sex. All the more reason to let them get married! Let’s face it, nothing diminishes the frequency of intimacy better than tying the knot.

Now, I didn’t use that line just because I’ve been chuckling ever since I thought of it. It’s also a fact. If you are experiencing the lull that comes after marriage, you may want to accept the fact that this is perfectly normal and then do a Web search on ways to address this issue in your own life. I recommend The Journal of Marriage and Family’s own white paper on the topic, “The Incidence and Frequency of Marital Sex in a National Sample.”

I’d also recommend long walks, gentle caresses, holding hands and celebrating with a few thousand friends. Hey, sounds like a gay pride parade. Which begs the question of all these anti-marriage equality activists: “Don’t you get sick of giving all these LGBT folks a reason to party?” I mean, you must’ve noticed that every little incremental equal rights success is just cause for another merriment-laced, rainbow-flagged celebration.

And then when you agitate to repeal equality as in California or here in our own beloved Maine, you give the LGBT community a reason to reconnect, regroup and reorganize for battle. And I’ve volunteered at those events, so trust me that even in the face of your dehumanizing actions, they’re loving each other and having a good time.

But if LGBT people were all granted equal rights everywhere at the same exact time, there would be one party and it would be over. No state-by-state, town-by-town mass marriage ceremonies, no champagne popping celebrations on the steps of state houses — and you could get the whole topic out of sight and eventually out of mind.

The media would have one blitz and then it wouldn’t be news anymore. Think about it, you don’t see news stories when multiracial couples marry.

By the way, the other states allowing gay marriage are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire as well as the District of Columbia. If you’re any good with history, a number of those states will sound familiar. Of the original U.S. states, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York were the most progressive on other human rights issues as well — allowing from the outset free black men to vote, for example. In fact, New Hampshire and New York guaranteed blacks the right to vote in their constitutions way back in 1784 and 1777 respectively.

New York was on the cutting edge of liberty considering it enfranchised black men 80 years before Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney would callously describe them as having “no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.”

What most people forget about the Dred Scott Decision is that there were two dissenting voices and they cited New York and other states’ long-standing respect for the rights of the black man as reason to push back. It’s no surprise that these states light the way for equal rights in our century as well.

Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is the author of “Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States.” She may be reached at PatLaMarche@hotmail.com. Kathleen Parker is on vacation.

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