New York Approves Marriage Equality

Ladies & Ladies and Gentlemen & Gentlemen, start your gift registries.


Rachel went long to cover it live, Anderson Cooper seems to have pre-taped his program tonight. Marriage Equality doubles by population, and CNN is asleep at the switch.

And yet, I don’t feel that my marriage is threatened. Cynica? RML?

@nojo: Maybe Anderson Cooper will come out of the closet on air!

Coop’s back. He’ll get around to the story in a few minutes, after his tabloid trial coverage and a program promo.

I will grudgingly give credit to the Senate majority leader who said that senators could vote their conscience and not party line. Now how do we get rid of that asshat Democrat from Bronx?

Wow, a lawmaker who read a bill and thought about it?

Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican who opposed gay marriage when he ran for election last year, said he had studied the issue closely, agonized over his responsibility as a lawmaker, and concluded he could not vote against the bill. Mr. Grisanti voted yes.

“A man can be wiser today than yesterday, but there can be no respect for that man if he has failed to do his duty,” Mr. Grisanti told his colleagues.

Let us be strong and of good courage.
Let compassion fill our broken hearts like gentle rain on a field of grass.
Let us awaken to the love in our lives as the earth awakens to the morning dew.
Let our discernment help us to pursue good and not evil.
Let our wisdom lead us to acts of righteousness.
That justice may roll down like a mighty river
And peace may fill the earth as the waters fill the sea.

-From the opening prayer given by Sharon Cohen Anisfeld for the inauguration of the new president of Harvard in 2001.

God bless you all, we will see full justice yet. This is a very good day.

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: And let us party like fucking rock stars because it’s PRIDE weekend!

Bad news about this is that the hometown senator, who still represent Ma and Pa Bureau, was on the “no” side. Le sigh. And the non-severability clause scares me somewhat.

Beyond that? I’m stunned that Albany did something useful. About as dysfunctional a state capitol as Springfield, Sacramento, and other rogues of that sort. That’s a victory in and of itself. And a victory on this issue. HELL TO THE YES.

@chicago bureau: Apparently that clause was one of the keys to passage. I’m not a fan of putting the rights of citizens up to a vote, but you takes what you can get.

@SanFranLefty: Can you imagine what the pier dance will be like this weekend? Amazing…

@chicago bureau: Severabilty clause? Explain for the legally illiterate among us, please.

Governor Andy uses “progressive” repeatedly. What universe am I in?

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: If any part of the law is ruled invalid, the whole thing goes down. Most laws are written to survive legal challenges against specific elements.

Reason: The folks wanting the “religious protections” wanted to make sure they weren’t just window-dressing. If they get tossed out by a court, so does the rest of the law.

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: Mr SFL and I are about to amble over to the Castro to see if the Pride fun has gone to 11.

@nojo: Wait, whaaaa? There’s a severability clause in there? I didn’t know that detail. But the thing will survive any challenge.

@SanFranLefty: Not so sure about that. Haven’t digested it yet, but if somebody somewhere can say that they are being singled out for being anti-marriage (Kathryn Jean Lopez, START YOUR ENGINES), there could be an equal protection claim.

There’s always an equal protection claim. You and I are lawyers. We know the score. Some winger can file suit, and a judge might buy in and issue an injunction. You think Maggie Gallagher is going to take this sitting down?

Point: this ain’t over until it’s over (as a famous New Yorker once said).

Sweet victory!

@chicago bureau: Maggie Gallagher looks like she’s been sitting on her face for years.

I’m traveling incognito in darkest Vermont. Having just witnessed an atrocious production of an atrocious play by one of my least favorite playwrights I return to my hotel to find this wonderful and, to me, completely unexpected news. But then I am, as my husband likes to point out, a paranoid peasant asshole. And I’m only too happy to have been proved wrong.

Pride will be New Year’s Eve with the alcohol consumption of St Patrick’s Day with the body-image anxiety of Fashion Week.

@nojo: So we better not let the queens here at Weston Priory get all up in their robes.

@SanFranLefty: I’ve said it before but I think Cooper does OK. I don’t know how it helps Maddow by being ‘lebanese’. I mean, I respect the woman but it cramps her style. I think Cooper manages to remain detached and yet involved: he does more homo stories than anyone else.

But in other news: woo hoo.

Wondering if we could get to the city for Sunday but I doubt it. Plus, I don’t do Pride. But I swear I will stop my whining about This Doesn’t Mean Anything – not that anyone bothers to read these rants. I was watching some otter from HRC being interviewed by Ron Reagan (why does he look so weird?) talking total Glass Half Full party line but I finally understood that here, where Liberty® was invented when Paul Revere made his midnight ride to warn the English not to take away our arms, it must be a states thing till it reaches critical mass and Jebus returns.

And then there’s our ridiculous supreme court.

I would also like to remind Stinque Inque that I am our only legally married Gay (pause for eyerolls).

Yes we eloped to Canada (we were desperate, OK? Like you’ve never done anything crazy? We talked to Canadians. We tried to eat the food and understand their funny lingo. We did what we could to protect ourselves when they were ‘nice’. And on the morning of our wedding when we were at a Canadian biker deli as I choked down scrambled eggs they played Anne Murrray on the juke. I clutched my sephardic jewboy’s hand (I like em dark and spicy) and mouthed the magic words – spraying egg on his formal tee – Isn’t this fucking ridiculous? ) 8 years ago but now we’re legal in our homoe state the registry will be posted at Brooks Brothers. (Hint: I need formal with matching poncho. Plus cravats)

@Snorri Haraldsson Uterus: Um, I think our friend Andrew and his husband also went to Vancouver. And you know that our favorite Canuck Manchu will be sad with your trash talking, eh?

P.S. Don’t you want His and His dog leashes for your kennel of pupsters?

And Neil Patrick Harris is out of the gate with the first celebrity engagement.

@Dodgerblue: Let’s see . . . we walked the dog and watched some Bill Mahr on the free HBO we’re getting this weekend. The concert movie on VH1 now with Slayer and Metallica is more of a threat to my marriage than the sudden outbreak of equality in the State of Benedick.

Oooh, cool – just saw an ad for National Metal Day: 11-11-11.

Oh, and by the way: No residency requirement. This could get interesting.

@nojo: Or not. Most states with Teh Ban also put a lockdown on out-of-staters. States with no such ban have already had documents stamped Vermont, Massachusetts and Iowa stamped on ’em. Status is quo. Am I wrong?

P.S.: over at the Corner (lovely place to be tonight, of course) there’s some whining about a 72-hour publication requirement.

If the decision by the Wisconsin Supremes earlier this month gets cited by the pro-marriage folks, you will see some tea partiers’ heads explode.

@chicago bureau: With all due respect to Boston, a non-residential NY marriage would be more convenient to travelers, even if their own states shit on the paper. You don’t quite get a fait accompli this way, but you do get a wider footprint. And society is changing faster than the laws.

@nojo: Ergo the NYC Department of Tourism and Conventions (or whatever the fuck it’s called) creamed its pants tonight at the thought of all the disposable income about to come its way for weddings. The City comptroller’s very dry analysis of how much Prop H8 cost Ess Eff was cited with approval by Judge Walker, BTW.

In somewhat related news, I happened upon a bar, and after about an hour I realized that it happened to be a gay bar. I was then felt up at the gay bar, and my kid is laughing at me because I’m really confused because I was felt up. At a gay bar. By a gay dude. I’m not upset or offended or angry — just kinda confused. Okay, pretty bordering on really confused. And he had great hands. I was kinda like, “Um, am I fucking up the vibe in here? Should I leave?”

@JNOV Jinjer: I’m confused how we can be in a gay bar for an hour and not notice. Was it Gloria Gaynor’s night off?

@Snorri Haraldsson Uterus: @redmanlaw: Even the Gaga didn’t give me a clue.

It’s like this: I got off from work, and I didn’t want to hang out at home doing solitary shit like I always do. So I walked to the dive bar across the street. I like dive bars. This dive bar had a palpable insular vibe, so I left and walked a half block to this other dive bar that has a pretty outdoor area. I went in, got a beer, and sat outside. Being that it was a little after 5, the bar was virtually empty.

I sat outside and just kinda enjoyed watching people walk by, and I went in to use the facilities and close out my tab. While I was outside, a few guys came and introduced themselves to me, I met the owners, I mean, it was kinda cool, and, yes, I thought that some of them might be gay, but it didn’t matter to me. Even when the bartender mentioned a gay bar in the city (we were talking about meth problems), I still didn’t realize that I was at a gay bar, because it didn’t matter.

So, I thought I was on my way home, and I met two women, one with a really awesome sleeve. We talked some, and she introduced me to her girlfriend who didn’t like me much, and I was starting to think, “Wow. It’s cool that so many gay people are comfortable at this bar.”

Then I met two young guys, and we started talking, and then I met another bartender, and someone was like, “Honey, you are at a gay bar!” And I was like, “Okay — this is a happy turn of events for me, because I’ve always wanted to go to a gay bar, but I didn’t want to be a spectator, like it was some sort of anthropological study or some shit like that.” I never wanted to be like, “Oh, I think I’ll go to a Gay Bar this evening just to see what it’s like.” I don’t want to treat people like they’re curiosities or devalue them or not respect them, and I always thought that if I went to a gay bar just because I was curious, that would be wrong of me in some sort of Brave New World observer but not participant type of way. It’s hard to explain.

So, I finally got a clue because it was handed to me, and I was quite happy because I’d been there long enough to realize that I could be myself and not get hassled. I had really interesting conversations about what it means to be human and to live an authentic life in general, and some sort of veneer of posturing bullshit that I usually see in straight bars wasn’t there — for me, at least. That’s not to say that people weren’t checking each other out and all that, but I wasn’t on the table, so I felt safe. And I never lost sight of the fact that I was a guest in their house.

So, when this guy started rubbing my back, I was like, “Human contact is nice, and I miss it, and he probably does, too.” When he started talking about his straight life and kids and stuff, I started to wonder if maybe he was a guest, too, but I was pretty sure that he was a regular, but it didn’t matter all that much.

And then he started quite publicly rubbing my ass.

Okay. I wouldn’t have put up with that in any other bar, but I let him because I was not sure how to handle it, and it felt nice, and I was somewhere were public touching wasn’t verboten, and that was nice. But I was pretty confused, and I could tell that his friends were not happy about what was going on. I didn’t know if I should leave or tell him to stop or I don’t know what all, because I liked it. I liked it. But I also didn’t want to get tossed or behave inappropriately for that scene or lose what seemed like the first welcoming community I’ve found since I moved here.


So, the rubbing went on for I don’t know how long, and then he got all protective of me because he thought some sketchy dude he knows was giving me the stink eye and might follow me when I left (I think that was all in his mind, and if anyone was getting the stink eye, it was him). When he reached for my crotch, I excused myself.

His friends took him home, and I sat there for awhile trying to figure out what the fuck just happened and did I do anything wrong and why did I let him do that and did I blow my chance to find a community of people who accept me because I was being selfish or lonely or vain or something. And did I damage this guy who came out later in life but might still miss parts of the straight life he led? Did he just want to know that he’s still attractive to men and women? It’s not like sexual preference makes you blind to beauty or makes you not want to be noticed, even if the person who is looking at you isn’t sexually attracted to you. Beauty is beauty (and I’m not talking about only physical beauty), and it’s a sin not to acknowledge it, so Sug says.

One of butt rubber’s friends stayed behind and told me that he thought that this guy realized that I was safe — that human contact is so important, and if he touched me, there’d be no expectation of anything else following later like there might be if he had been touching a man. He told me that maybe right then and there, he just needed to connect with someone and that they realized from the beginning that I am safe and that, yes, while I am a guest, I’m a welcomed guest.

I dunno. I’m less distressed about his behavior than I am about mine.

Why did I let him do that, and why am I so fucking conflicted about it? I wish I knew. And should I go back?

All of this, “I didn’t notice it because it really didn’t matter” isn’t accurate or true. I assumed that I was at a straight bar. I’ve never used the descriptor “straight” before because straight is the default just like white is the default and male is the default.

I just came home from the farmers’ market where I ran into the last person I spoke with at the bar. He told me to go back. I probably will.

@JNOV Jinjer: Oh, most definitely, go back.

I lived in Boston’s very gay Fenway neighborhood for almost 15 years. It was fabulous, as the kids say. Occasionally people would come in from the outside who would push the limits a bit by walking around the gardens with their penii exposed, but I loved that it was such a welcoming place.

In the fine weather, it was not unusual for a spontaneous cocktail party to break out on one of the front stoops. And interior decorating? Oh, my word, I learned a lot.

Only thing that kind of annoyed me was that one of the guys who lived two doors down from me looked better in a LBD than I did. But what are you going to do?

@JNOV Jinjer: I don’t see why not. Time was men could be defensive and/or hostile towards women but I think that’s changed. And of course it depends on the bar. You might not feel at home in the Spike but that sounds like a regular neighborhood bar. Why shouldn’t you like having your ass rubbed? Nothing wrong with that. Lat time I was in a gay bar, many years ago, a guy emptied a glass of scotch in my lap. I think he was trying to tell me he liked the cut of my jib.

@Benedick HRH KFC: @karen marie has her eyes tight shut: Yeah. I’ll go back. One of the younger dudes said that I remind him of his MOTHER :/ , and I spoke with her last night. She asked me to take care of him. Today I checked in with him to make sure he and his friend made it home safely (I don’t want his mother kicking my ass), and he was happy to hear from me. That was nice.

The cut of your jib — you mean your nose, right?

@JNOV Jinjer: It’s a nautical expression. Like “Hello, sailor!”

Bugger. I have to go to the city tomorrow. I’m just hoping God doesn’t hurl too many thunderbolts at the parade cause it will really fuck with the traffic. He’s already flooded ND.

@Benedick HRH KFC: Yeah, I was kinda kidding. Someone told me jibs look like noses, and that’s where the saying might have come from originally, but who knows? Those wacky Brits.

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