I mean, that's pretty much all I'm hearing from this (via Feministe):
Images from gay weddings, said Lorri L. Jean, chief executive of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, could be used by opponents in a campaign designed to persuade California voters that gays and lesbians should not have the right to marry. Those getting married, she cautioned, should never lose sight of what they might be supplying to the other side.
We all know what that means. In fact, it's a whole lot more explicit, after the jump.
I held off on posting this for a week because it just didn't seem right to criticize marriage advocates on their big week in California. Then again, it doesn't seem right for them to criticize LGBT people who are getting married on their big wedding days.
What's going around is the same ridiculous argument that gets used against same-sex marriage generally - Your marriage is going to hurt my marriage - being used all over again to marginalize queers who might do crazy things like cross-dress or act kinda flamboyant. (Remember, it's gay marriage, not transgender marriage or queer marriage or genderqueer marriage, so please don't spoil their party.)
One person makes it clear who is and who isn't welcome:
"One of the things that have hurt the gay effort in California is the exhibitionism in San Francisco," which doesn't always play well elsewhere, said political analyst Tony Quinn.
During the campaign for Proposition 22, the successful 2000 initiative that defined marriage as between a man and a woman, Quinn said many Californians were appalled by images of groups like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of gay male activists who dressed up like nuns.
With the initiative looming, proponents of same-sex marriage now are taking care to emphasize mainstream unions.
That's right, Tony Quinn! That explains why the state with the most in-your-face flamboyance and take-it-to-the-streets camp is one of the only two that allows same-sex marriage!
Oh, wait, actually, uh, reality completely contradicts what Quinn said. But who cares? Jeez, some people might think that he is one of them!
Either way, why would the Sisters show up to a wedding unless they were invited? And who's he to criticize someone else's invite list?
Keeping celebrations tame may be tough, he said. "It's a micro-manager's nightmare. There's no way to control everything. All we can do is remind people that it is really important."
That's pretty much saying it all right there - it's about control and managing the way other people express their love. It's an extension of a larger battle over who's a part of this movement and who isn't, and they're drawing the lines around themselves.
It's the same as the ENDA battle: who's going to hold back the good queers by speaking up and out?
The funny thing is that straight people are fine with outrageous weddings - that's why they invented Las Vegas. And no matter how gay people get married - overall, the pictures coming out of California last week were pretty traditional - there will always be some homophobes who manage to hate us.
Up in San Francisco, they're being more explicit about the rules:
When then-rookie Mayor Newsom defied state law and set off a national storm by sanctioning same-sex weddings at City Hall four years ago, his chief PR master at the time, Peter Ragone, laid down some do's and don'ts for how the story was to be staged for the media.
Make it about the people, not politics, Ragone emphasized. Make the weddings as normal-looking as possible. And whenever Newsom went in front of the cameras, Ragone made sure there was a U.S. flag in the background.
Just like four years ago, the story line Newsom and gay activists are pitching this time is about fairness and "couples next door."
Some of the do's and don'ts this time out include:
-- No stunts. "This is about people, not press conferences," Newsom said. "We want voters to see real people who have real commitments, not activists and politicians."
-- No mass weddings. One consultant in the fight told us, "The only people who do mass weddings in our culture are Moonies - and they don't exactly have high poll numbers with the public."
Because if they don't love the American flag, they shouldn't be allowed to get married. If their beliefs about marriage make them want to have a group (or double!) wedding, they should just stay home. Marriage is for some, not all.
The funny thing about the above quotation is that they say it's about "real commitments," not "activists and politicians." And yet, these warnings to appear non-threatening are from a bunch of activists and politicians and they're trying to infuse people's weddings with activism and politics.
I'm not saying that there's anything that's "not political," what I am saying is that their whole focus is on authenticity and "real Americans"... and the only way to be a "real American" is to fake it.
We have a few contibutors here at TBP who talk about how marriage is a grotesque assimilationist project, and usually the response is an overwhelming "You can make marriage into whatever you want it to be! It's about love, and gays and lesbians can love, so there's nothing assimilationist about it!"
Well, it's shit like this that makes some people in the community feel excluded by the drive to marriage. Then again, that's the whole point.
Honestly, any institution that asks me and my possible partner to be a coupla straight-actin' chill dudes who just wanna have a few brewskies with the guys and get married isn't asking me to bring my whole self into it. And asking people to hide parts of themselves at their own weddings is just fear and closetedness.
And we're not going to win this thing by sitting in a corner of our closets scared shitless that Americans are going to find out what we're like.