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    Ann Rostow: I’m Thinking Friday, June 26

    1-Ann-RostowBy Ann Rostow

    I’m Thinking Friday, June 26

    As June comes to a close, the Supreme Court has only a few days left to announce its remaining decisions. The Court will release opinions as we go to press on Thursday, June 25, at 10:00am Eastern. It will also announce opinions the next day and the following Monday. And history suggests that the Court could add another announcement day, or maybe two. One way or another, the marriage cases will be released before the July 4 holiday at the latest.

    Speculation is rife, and thousands of people have been glued to the live feed on Scotusblog whenever opinions loom, only to be disappointed. The addition of Friday, June 26, was interesting, suggesting that the Court might want to wrap things up by Monday the 29th. Personally, I think the Court has a sense of drama and wants to announce the marriage equality decision on the eve of the major Gay Pride weekend, don’t you? June 26 is also the twelfth anniversary of Lawrence v Texas.

    Just think! Our fate will be sealed when next we meet in these pages. Meanwhile, I think I may have mentioned that Guam legalized marriage recently, as has the Mexican state of Chihuahua. And now I learn that equality has arrived on Pitcairn Island. Yes, this is the same island that was colonized by Fletcher Christian and the other survivors of the mutiny on the Bounty back at the start of the 19th century. Nearly fifty people now reside on Pitcairn, a British territory, and the marriage policy was posted on the veranda of the general store. Everyone seems pleased by the development, although it does not seem as if there are any committed gay couples in residence.

    Speaking of the Brits, I clicked a side link on the Pitcairn Island story to read about a man who received something like a thousand-pound fine for slow driving in the fast lane, one of my wife Mel’s pet peeves. Well, it’s one of mine too, but Mel goes absolutely ballistic over the self-appointed pace cars who refuse to move over and block the highway like children with their passive aggressive power plays. The story made the news because it is apparently the first time that one of these infuriating road hogs has been ticketed under a fairly recent ordinance.

    Relentlessly Gay!

    On the eve of marriage equality, and with the arc of history generally bending our way, it feels as if society is breaking out into small skirmishes as our adversaries reluctantly face their defeat. As soon as they start their usual wailing and moaning, they are slapped back by an increasingly bold majority of gay allies.

    Take the woman in suburban Baltimore, 47-year-old Julie Baker, who had some colored solar jars in her yard because she liked rainbows. Not sure what a solar jar is, but it all sounds very festive indeed. Baker, who describes herself as bisexual, is a single mother who was not trying to make a statement. That didn’t stop a “concerned homeowner” from sending her a note that read:

    “Your yard is becoming Relentlessly Gay! Myself and Others in the neighborhood ask that you Tone it Down. This is a Christian area and there are Children. Keep it up and I will be forced to call the police on You! Your kind need to have Respect for GOD.”

    Baker posted the note on social media and began a Go Fund Me project to finance a major expansion of her outdoor decor.

    “Put simply, I am a widow and the mother of four children, my youngest in high school and I WILL NOT Relent to Hatred,” she wrote. “Instead, I will battle it with whimsy and beauty and laughter and love, wrapped around my home, yard and family!!!”

    Baker was looking for about five grand to make her yard “even more relentlessly gay,” perhaps even installing a rainbow roof, or painting the sidewalls. Every time I click on a new version of this story she has raised more money. The latest total I saw was $43,000 but I’m sure it’s risen even higher by now. I like her style and think she should bank any extra funds and use them to support the kids.

    It’s just one example, but it seems as if every time one member of the antigay cohort makes a buzz, there are hundreds on our side swatting him down.

    Suppress This!

    It was nice of the California assembly to pass a resolution condemning the proposed ballot initiative that would make homosexuality a capital crime, but is this really necessary? When the “Sodomite Suppression Act” first came to light, it made me wonder whether or not there was any kind of gate keeping mechanism to prevent absurd proposals from getting approved for signature gathering and so forth. But I guess the system errs on the side of public access to the initiative process. That said, do we really have to take issue with something this ridiculous?

    You are all probably aware of the fact that the assembly has also tried to increase the fee for filing a ballot measure from $200 (set decades ago) to $2,500, as well as offering a bill that would allow the Attorney General to mark proposals as unconstitutional. But to date, these proposals have failed to advance as lawmakers balance the need for reform with the obligation to preserve California’s expansive democracy. In response to the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” others have paid the fee to propose the “Intolerant Jackass Act,” as well as a ban on shellfish that stems from the restrictions in Leviticus. And yes, the shellfish ban is also a joke, conceived by the same guy who runs the website “God Hates Shrimp.”

    Attorney General Kamala Harris is trying to abort the sodomite measure, asking a state judge in Sacramento to send the paperwork to a circular file without further ado. I guess if she loses, she’ll have to write a summary and approve an official name. After that, look forward to weirdos on the corner of Castro and Market trying to get you to sign the petition. Maybe they’ll put a sad puppy picture on top and tell you to sign the bottom sheet or else Fluffy dies.

    The Lesbian Brand

    So, it seems lesbian commercials are in the news this week, beginning with the warm and fuzzy Wells Fargo ad that shows a couple learning sign language before adopting a deaf girl. I’m not sure how much banking they were doing, but Wells Fargo was on their side, and the whole commercial was very touching. Too touching for evangelical blowhard Franklin Graham, who pulled the Billy Graham Evangelical Association Wells Fargo account and accidentally deposited it into another gay friendly bank, BB&T Corp.

    Reading between the lines, it seemed as if Graham made no effort to find a conservative antigay bank, but simply assumed that all banks shared his views of the world unless they proved otherwise through provocative gay commercials. Faced with the news that BB&T Corp. is a big sponsor of Miami Pride, Franklin said that he had nothing against “gay friendly” banks, but only disapproved of those that displayed advocacy. Doesn’t really make much sense, but what the hell.

    Oh, and Franklin’s nephew, Billy Graham’s grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, was obliged to step down from his position as pastor of a Florida mega-church after admitting that he had an affair. Pastor Tullian, as he is called, was the man in charge at Ft. Lauderdale’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian for years until his fall from grace last week. According to his own statement, he was so devastated by his wife’s infidelity that he promptly went out and broke his own marital vows. Can you imagine, by the way, if we all used our first names and professions? Columnist Ann, Teacher Mel, Publisher Betty. I’m sorry, but it sounds dumb.

    Back on the subject of lesbian ads, if the far right thought the sweet Wells Fargo mothers were outrageous, they were beside themselves with the sexy lesbian who eats a Chobani yogurt in bed before tickling her wife’s foot, grabbing the bedspread and running out the French doors to the beach. (We know they’re married because they have matching rings.)

    “Chobani should be ashamed of their latest commercial for attempting to normalize sin by featuring two women naked in bed together,” said One Million Moms, an offshoot of the American Family Association. “One Million Moms continues to stand up for Biblical truth, which is very clear in Romans 1:26-27 about this particular type of sexual perversion.”

    (For those of you with limited knowledge of scripture, Romans 1:26-27 reads: “Women, thou shalt forebear to cleave to one another with the creamy dregs of the ewe. More so shall ye run from the tides and the abominable temptations of the shores of the great seas.”)

    Yet not all the criticism came from the evangelicals. Writing on Gawker, Hamilton Nolan says Chobani is to Greek yogurt “what fermented urine is to Champagne.” The Chobani hater continues:

    “It is plain as day to see that Chobani, desperate to align itself with any image other than ‘maker of America’s worst cow-related product,’ has plunged directly to the bottom of the barrel, enlisting hot naked lesbians lounging around in their birthday suits in a last-gasp effort to make you, the easily seduced consumer, believe that bad yogurt is ‘sexy.’”

    Personally, I’m torn. Like Mr. Nolan, I too dislike Chobani, with its pasty consistency and sickening aftertaste. I also appreciate authentic Greek yogurt and the comparison with the real thing accentuates the deficiencies of the American poseur. But, I’m sorry. I’m also an easily seduced consumer and will look more kindly on the Chobani section next time I wander through the grocery store. I’m not sure if I would buy any. Maybe. Maybe just a couple of containers out of solidarity.

    Burn Fruitcake, Burn. Or not.

    I suppose you have already seen that deranged pastor Rick Scarborough had pledged to set himself on fire if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality. Which makes you wonder. Does he think there’s a chance the Court will rule otherwise? Does he think his threat will have an impact on the Court’s deliberations? If not, does he have a dignified plan of retreat? Or perhaps it was all hyperbole to begin with. At any rate, he told a host on the “National Emergency Coalition” show (no I have no idea what that is), “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, if necessary we will burn.”

    Somehow I doubt Rick Scarborough has the courage of a Tibetan monk, but it will be interesting to watch his reaction. There’s also a straight married couple in Australia who announced they would divorce rather than accept marriage equality down under (where for the record, the question of marriage rights continues in a seemingly endless debate).

    You know what? If Rick Scarborough douses himself with gasoline and self immolates, he will not be seen as a martyr. He will be seen as a suicidal lunatic, which I suppose has a certain cachet.

    Meanwhile, much of the time that I have spent writing this column, Mel has been attempting to put together a plastic rainbow pony palace of some sort. At one point, she began making small murmurs of frustration. Now, several hours later, she has progressed to full out obscenities, obscenities that I cannot even repeat in this LGBT family newspaper. One scream that began with “F” was so loud that I rushed in from the patio to see what had happened.

    Something that had been together had come apart I guess. Worse, the project doesn’t look as if it’s advancing and I fear her mood will suffer. Oh, here she is, back on the patio muttering: “there’s not enough booze”…“stupid toy”…and “f–k it.” Those are verbatim quotes and please note that this project must be completed to an eight-year-old’s satisfaction in less than 48 hours.

    That said, this palace, once constructed, looks as if it will be relentlessly gay.

    arostow@aol.com