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Elayne Boosler Headshot

Gay Marriage, Chickens, and How to Win

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It's hard to be totally elated at the lifting up of one group (African Americans) when another group (gays) is stripped of the most fundamental of human rights. Prop 8 in California passed; a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman (or however many men and women men and women want to marry, one at a time). The "sanctity" of marriage is now safe. Sanc⋅ti⋅ty [holiness, saintliness, or godliness]. (So now where is that separation of church and state we're so fond of imagining?) It should chill everyone's blood that anyone's choice of whom to marry can be left up to a vote by strangers. Does Barak Obama remember when it would have been illegal for his black/white parents to marry? Who's next? Prop 8 now faces lawsuits, petitions, and daily demonstrations. If you're gay you take it personally, but aside from the religious nuts who can never be reasoned with, the way to win is to understand that it isn't personal. It's life as usual; "what's in it for me?" Again, the banality of evil.

The chickens, and Obama, knew how to sell it, while opponents of Prop 8 made a cardinal mistake; they relied on the kindness of strangers. Tennessee Williams, a national treasure who saved us from a lifetime of Cats and Grease, and who would not be allowed to marry in California, showed us the folly of that. And in California, owners of multi- million dollar properties also defeated a proposition to fund after school programs for at-risk youth because it would add fifty six dollars a year to their property taxes. Yes, even to the thousands of homes that cost from three million to forty million dollars here, just fifty six dollars a year, (the cost of one Medeco key). All you need to know about Californians, you can learn here at a four way stop sign.

There is a noble earnestness in the hope that people will do the right thing, but that is not how Obama, or the chickens, won. They won because they made their cases that voting for them was going to be better for you. For every voter that wanted Obama to win because he was the best man AND African American, there was a voter who forced himself to ignore the fact that Obama was African American, because that voter's needs were going to be better served with Obama as president. Obama knew this, so he framed this election (as he said in his victory speech) as being about you. Not him. You. And what did McCain keep saying? "I'm a maverick. She's a maverick. We're mavericks." Hey, we're over here.

The chickens won (slightly) more room because the commercials made it clear this was better for your health. Do you think if the HSUS framed the argument as "The chickens are suffering, and so are the other sentient animals who deserve to live their short lives free of pain and panic", do you think Prop 2 would have passed? I don't. It passed because the commercials made passing it about your health, and showed pictures of things you would never want to eat or have your food come from.

There are lots of people who don't care about animals, or electing the first black president, or gay people also having the right to get married in their cars in Vegas if they're too drunk to walk, or kids who have nothing, getting to play ball after school. The chickens got it right. People saw those chickens wallowing in filth and thought "Shit!! I'm not putting anything from there in my mouth!" Done deal. If they had said instead, "Do the right thing", those chickens would be living like thirty clowns in a volkswagon.

To win this fight, and it's criminal that any American taxpayer has to fight for fundamental human rights in 2008, show the opponents the advantages to them.

RATIONAL ARGUMENTS:

All marriages strengthen a society. That's why the people who consider them sacred marry so many times.

It's not a "Lifestyle", it's a life.

Less teenage suicide, the message was "hope", right?

More great homes become available when two become one.

Millions of dollars will pour into the economy for weddings; hotels, travel, bands, musicians, photographers, videographers, florists, wedding planners, caterers, bakeries, bartenders, waiters, liquor industry, clothing, taxes, real estate, furnishings, painters, jewelers. etc. etc. All those business owners vote. Promise not to elope.

More loving homes to welcome the shameful number of unwanted children languishing in orphanages. Religious people, they'll take care of you til the day you're born.

ARGUMENTS FOR THE DUMB GUYS

Less bad marriages for Liza Minnelli.

For those who believe there is a "gay agenda", where gays actually want to turn your three hundred pound beer drinking husband gay, well, now he'll be safe.

Take a page from "A Day Without a Mexican" and do the same, exaggerate the stereotypes: "A Day Without a Homosexual." 80% of Americans' hair will look like shit. The Desperate Housewives will be without makeup and great clothes, aagghhh how old are they?? Ballet companies will be missing lots of dancers, women forced to lift themselves. Small numbers in audience for Bette, Kathy, Equity Waver Theater. Half the women in America will have no one to talk to about what they're going through. Bronzer sales plummet. No one buying cashmere throws. Choirs reduced by half, harmony suffers. No one to sell shoes at Barney's. Retail sales down; no one to show buyers the possibilities. "Fabulous" dropped from dictionary. America loses ability to bounce back with grace.

And as one commenter wrote last week, and I wish I could find his name again but I tried and couldn't, "If people are against gays having sex, let them get married. That will put a stop to it".

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