By Ann Rostow
It’s time again for our annual year-in-review news quiz! Unfortunately, that means I can’t comment on the exciting developments in Utah. However, you already know all the details, assuming you’re a conscientious community member. And the rest of the story will play out this year, when the 10th Circuit grapples with the question of marriage equality. Briefs are all due by late February. Oral arguments will follow, and a ruling should arrive a month or two after that.
The lesson of Utah is that no matter how closely we watch the news, we can still be caught off guard. In this case, the surprise was in the timing (which came just days after oral arguments), the bizarre delay in requesting a stay (which led to about a thousand marriages), and the remarks by the 10th Circuit (which seem to signal an edge for same-sex couples).
With that in mind, who knows what awaits us in 2014? Will there be penguins? More victories in federal court? Perhaps a few conservatives caught with their pants down and a couple of cute rent boys in a budget hotel room? Maybe (National Organization for Marriage President) Brian Brown will get a divorce. To paraphrase Don Rumsfeld, the only thing we do know, is that we don’t know. So let’s get to our quiz, and let’s start with penguins:
#1 Q: In Odense, Denmark, two gay penguins were reported: a) trying to hatch a dead herring, b) having sex in front of a group of middle school children, c) appearing to line dance to a piped in recording of “The Hustle,” d) obsessively preening each other’s coats.
#2 Q: How many states began offering marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2013? a) ten, b) eight, c) nine, d) seven.
#3 Q: Who gave the worst service? a) the baggage handlers who taped “I am gay” on a man’s suitcase, b) the restaurant owner who gave a nasty letter to his lesbian diners after they paid their bill, c) the shuttle driver in Albuquerque who ejected two men because they were holding hands and singing, d) the bartender who emptied a bottle of single malt scotch over the head of a man dressed like Celine Dion.
#4 Q: Which state or states does not allow gay couples to contract marriages, but will nonetheless recognize out of state marriages? a) Michigan, b) Colorado, c) New Mexico, d) Pennsylvania, e) Oregon, f) Utah, g) Ohio.
#5 Q: Last February, how did the editors of the AP Style Guide insult the GLBT community? a) they included a definition of “gay” to mean “foolish or stupid,” b) they instructed journalists to replace the word “homophobe,” with “traditionalist.” c) they recommended calling gay couples “partners” rather than “spouses,” d) they approved of the use of “faggot,” but only when referring to a small stick or piece of kindling.
#6 Q: Identify the following newsmakers: a) Walter Naegle, b) Kaitlin Hunt, c) Nick Gilronan, d) Alexandra Hedison, e) Scott Norton, f) Nicole Maines.
#7 Q: In the Prop 8 case, Justice Sonia Sotomayor felt: a) that the lower courts were correct to strike the initiative, b) that the Court was obliged to defer to the opinion of the California Supreme Court when deciding whether or not the Prop 8 side had the right to appeal, c) that the Prop 8 side suffered no direct harm from the legalization of marriage and could not bring the case to the High Court, d) that the case was moot, e) that the issue of standing should not have distracted the Court from reaching the merits of the case, f) that the Prop 8 side had standing to appeal, and that the Ninth Circuit should reconsider the underlying question of marriage.
#8 Q: A group called the Australian Cat Ladies won 15 minutes of fame in 2013 for: a) hijacking the website of the Australian Christian Lobby, b) stalking tennis star Samantha Stosur throughout the Australian Open, c) removing their shirts on the steps of the High Court of Australia during the marriage equality case, d) performing a Pride concert with a live tiger, which briefly escaped and knocked a stagehand into a steel pole.
#9 Q: The High Court’s decision to halt marriages in Utah indicated: a) nothing more than a desire to proceed cautiously with a controversial issue, b) a belief that states must have the right to make and enforce their own marriage policies, c) frustration with the ineptitude of the state of Utah, where lawyers failed to request an immediate stay from the presiding judge, d) a recognition that Utah is too conservative for marriage equality at the moment.
#10 Q: The biggest GLBT news story in 2014 will be: a) the Supreme Court’s decision to let stand a 10th Circuit ruling in favor of same-sex couples, b) a well-known American athlete, in either football, baseball or basketball, coming out of the closet, c) the Supreme Court’s decision to accept a marriage equality case for the 2014/2015 term, d) the discovery of a link between homosexuality and high IQ levels, e) undeniable proof that Abraham Lincoln was gay, f) visitors from another planet who convince the world to come together in peace and end prejudice in all contexts.
#1 a. They also tried to steal eggs from heterosexual penguin couples.
#2 b. Illinois will not start issuing licenses until June of 2014. California did not begin offering licenses, it resumed doing so. Utah still counts, even though marriages have been halted. Maryland legalized marriage in 2012, but began licensing in 2013, so it also counts. The other six new states are Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, New Mexico, Hawaii and Minnesota.
#3 b. It’s really a judgment call, except for the bartender story which didn’t actually happen. I think the restaurant incident is the most hurtful.
#4 e. Only Oregon. The federal court ruling out of Ohio does not immediately translate into statewide recognition policy, but it should in time.
#5 c. The AP suggested that reporters only use “husband” or “spouse” if the gay couples themselves insisted on the terminology, regardless of whether or not the couple was legally married. They also discouraged the use of “homophobe,” but they never offered a replacement. As for a), that was the Apple Dictionary.
#6 a) life partner of Bayard Rustin who received Rustin’s posthumous Medal of Freedom, b) Florida teen jailed for her affair with a younger teen girl, c) winner of 2013 smallest penis contest, d) ex-GF of Ellen D’s who is now linked with Jodie Foster, e) national bowling champ who kissed his partner after televised victory, f) trans teen who sued school district before Maine’s top court.
#7 b. Sotomayor joined the minority (with Justices Scalia and Thomas) in Justice Kennedy’s dissent. The majority ruled that the Prop 8 proponents lacked standing to sue and that Judge Walker’s decision to strike Prop 8 would be the final word.
#8 a. Check out the group at australianchristianlobby.org.
#9 The question is irrelevant, since this is a 2013 quiz and the High Court acted in 2014. But it likely indicated a), a pragmatic attempt to calm the waters as the case proceeds quickly through the Tenth Circuit. As for c), although we all were pleased to see marriages conducted for a week or so in the Saints State, the Utah Attorney General’s Office appeared bewildered by standard court procedures.