After our Supreme Court victory, Evan Wolfson announced he is closing up his Freedom to Marry shop. After 24 hard-working years as executive director of Lambda Legal, Kevin Cathcart is leaving. After their FIFA Women’s World Cup victory season, Abby Wambach is retiring. Wasn’t Abby’s victory kiss with her wife awesome? Sorry. I know it’s off-topic, but I can’t stop talking about it.
Put on your Maurice Chevalier straw boaters and thank Evan and Kevin. (Go ahead, Google it.) They must both be tired and tired of being asked, “So what’s next?” Let them take a year off to rest up. Then I want them both to do a Boies/Olson dream team lawyer mash-up and try to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified. Futilitarians unite!
President Obama said that the court’s decision made our union a little more perfect. Actually Justice Kennedy’s opinion made marriage sound too perfect; an ideal of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. Like he never heard of divorce. And pity the poor single people who live lives treading water at the bottom of the well of loneliness. Is that Elena Kagan in the pink water wings? Not everyone joins in all the rainbow games.
Kennedy’s idealized language describes an institution fallen into such disrepair that gays have to go in and gentrify it. I know I sound all cranky like Jabba the Scalia whose opinions sound like tween tweets, but it makes me want to act out. Pick a fight with my wifi hotspot, have an affair, do a dog, get in a throuple and call it a long weekend. Could be a lingering effect of the Mad Vow disease.
Don’t get me wrong. Our marriage victory was incredible. As were the non-photo-shopped rainbow klieg lights on the White House. I bet the girls were behind it, “Come on Mom and Dad, do it. It would be so gay!”
But instead of a “What’s next?” moment, I’m having a Peggy Lee “Is-that-all-there-is?” moment. So that’s it? “Feel free to move about the country and get married; we’re off to swift-boat the Iran nuclear deal?” Hold on a second. I want an apology.
But instead of that, we get backlash. The losers plan to make marriage equality a religious tolerance issue. They are trying again to make us a political wedge issue: the butt thong between the cheek of church and the cheek of state. Their response reminds me of an apology I once got from an ex. “I’m sorry,” sounded a lot like “Kiss off.”
A few years back, I asked Kevin Cathcart, if we could sue the right-wing nutjobs for harassment. I argued that for years we had to spend pallets of hundred dollar bills fighting the drones on the right and their frivolous anti-gay propositions and propaganda strikes. We could have used that money against bullying, anti-trans violence and for eldercare and HIV/AIDS. I’m not a lawyer — though I have played with one near a TV — but I thought it was a great idea. Kevin was quite patient.
In lieu of cash, we could go the reparative route. We should demand as restitution, programs to retrain and retrofit homophobes into ex-haters. They can work out their community service hours in LGBT youth homeless shelters, home visits with LGBT seniors, HIV/AIDS education or volunteer in anti-trans violence centers. Or they could do pro-bono work with the firm Cathcart and Wolfson, which will be working on finally ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.
Kate Clinton is a humorist who has entertained audiences for more than 30 years.