...in which two white, male heterosexuals attend a diversity class promoting gay marriage.
"The eagle has landed," I whispered in my cellphone to Hambone as I scoped out the conference room where the event would take place in order to ascertain how easy it would be to escape without notice should that become necessary.
"I think if we get here early we'll be able to get the seats in the back corner, next to the door." I mentally congratulated myself on my thoroughness: with such meticulous planning Napoleon would've conquered Russia.
Indeed, the planning had begun last week when I'd sent an email to Ham:
We'll look like plants if we go in there the way we usually look. I'm going to try to find my most "gay" shirt to wear. Something pink or rainbow-y. Otherwise they may try to "hold their fire" and not be as outspoken as they would amid their normal clientele...Ham fired back a funny reply saying he would draw a line: no flirting, no batting of eyelashes at each other.
In the end I couldn't find a pink or rainbow-y shirt but instead a collarless blue shirt. I would go as the avante garde (sp?) artist type, although I think you have to be able to spell avante garde in order to play one in real life. I briefly debated whether to shave or not. Artsy-fartsy types don't bother with bourgeois activities like shaving do they? But then Brett Favre is the masculine heterosexual ideal. Perhaps I was overthinking it, as if this really mattered, but then I remembered Bill Luse's great confidence-builder: "delusions of grandeur keep me going".
Despite the code name "Operation Donnybrook", we'd decided we'd lay low. This was an information-gathering expedition, a brief foray into foreign territory and not a confrontation. If asked our opinion we would give only our name, rank and serial number and say, "I'm hear to listen...", which, in both our cases, would be a first. (Just ask our wives! (rimshot!).
Though there was the temptation to ask if it was true what Jack Cashill said, that gay marriage was instigated by family law activists who want to break up the family, even though that goal seems so base as to be hard to believe. Perhaps: "Can you tell me of the beginnings of the same sex marriage movement? I've heard that ten years ago it wasn't on the radar of most homosexuals."
Your cubby reporters were a bit late and thus unable to reserve said seats in the very back, but in hindsight it was extremely predictable that the chairs would've been re-arranged in a circle. There would be no easy escapes no matter what time we'd gotten there, but fortunately escape was not necessary. The main speaker was, alas, incredibly good at her job. The gay community could not have chosen a more effective representative to "calm the irrational fears", as they would put it, of the heterosexual community. Certainly it's no surprise that a lesbian was leading this group since according to her there's a greater "ick factor" concerning gays rather than lesbians. (I almost piped up with: "doesn't the ick factor relate to the sex of the one experiencing the ick? That is, women feeling it more concerning lesbians and men more concerning gays?" I suppose the answer is that straight male ick exceeds the female straight's ick.) So for this reason they changed the name of their organization from "Gays, Lesbians, Bi's and Transgendereds" to "Lesbians, Gays, Bi's and Transgenders".
Articulate and very attractive, she looked about as unlike a stereotypical lesbian as you could imagine, perhaps intentionally so. She was dressed professionally in a conservative blue suit and said that she is a Republican. To her credit, she doesn't want to obtain "gay marriage" the way liberals attained the right to kill babies - she wants to change hearts and minds instead of going through the courts and having continued rule by elites. As Hambone said afterwards, "I don't mind living where I am voted down by a majority but I do where a court arrogantly decides." Amen.
I was not surprised to see only one other white male in the room besides Ham & me, and given his slight lisp and lack of wedding ring it seemed we were likely the only heterosexual white males. He was a forceful proponent for gay marriage and said that "the intolerant folks have a tremendous amount of energy" in their drive to thwart the homosexual agenda. It's funny but I've always thought it the opposite. Certainly any energy against gay marriage was merely a reaction to a very aggressive gay agenda. We probably see ourselves on opposite sides of Yeats' poem about the "best lacking all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity." It seems illogical that gays lack the energy, since who has more of a dog in the fight concerning gay issues than gays themselves? I'm one Christian conservative who has done nothing for the marriage-is-between-a-man-and-a-woman movement and not nearly what I should for the pro-life movement.
The speaker asserted that gay marriage could be defended in the Bible without actually defending that proposition. Far more honest was the exchange linked by First Things between Timothy Johnson & Eve Tushnet concerning experience versus Scripture. Johnson, to his credit, doesn't insult our intelligence:
And accepting covenanted love between persons of the same sex represents the same downward spiral with regard to Scripture, since the Bible nowhere speaks positively or even neutrally about same-sex love.Eve Tushnet has a lot of credibility on the issue since she has same-sex attraction and yet clings to church doctrine. She writes:
If we seek to overcome any aspects of our culture that conflict with the gospel, I’m not sure why we would expect the gay liberation movement-slightly over a hundred years old, and largely Western in character-to be less culture-bound, and therefore a better guide to the countercultural aspects of the gospel, than the Catholic Church. The church is bigger and older than you, me, or the very concept of the homosexual person.Not long into the meeting a girl in her late '20s induced M.I.C. (massive inward cringing) with her Rodney King imitation: "Why can't we all get along?", saying that it's just common sense that gays marry. Yeah, let's just make it up as we go along. Who needs to weigh thousands of years of civilizational experience against the injustice of someone who doesn't get her domestic partner benefits pre-tax as married people do? (Okay, an overdramatization but...) She was the pluperfect heart-only voter and afterwards Ham groaned about women's suffrage.
But Ham was silent throughout, which was disappointing because he's normally a live-wire and entertainingly so. I threw in comments here and there, such as when our speaker mentioned an anecdote about a guy who was not "stereotypically gay" and yet was "extremely good-looking" I said "there's your stereotype" and she laughed out loud. She mentioned he was walking down the street on OSU campus with his partner when someone yelled out "faggots". But I used to hang around OSU campus. It's a tough crowd. Full of barbarians not yet civilized by marriage or job. So hardly evidence of a great prejudice against gays, though of course I'm not saying that such prejudice does not exist.
All-in-all a very quick hour or so. And did I mention there was free food? I was amused that the note that went out inviting us to this shin-dig said that they will honor vegetarian requests, naturally, in the interest of diversity. I thought it'd be fun to test this diversity stuff by saying that I was not a vegetarian nor a meat-eater per se. I was against the killing of innocent vegetables and plants but I did indulge only in shellfish found off the coast of Scotland and I would appreciate it if he could make some available. Pronto.