by Jim Harris

On April 1, our Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he is now totally in favor of gay dollars, er, votes, er, marriage. (And it was NOT an April Fool joke.) The race to embrace same-sex marriage has been an abrupt, unforeseen sea change in American public opinion. It has produced some strange bedfellows indeed involving the nation’s lawmakers and interest groups. One can only wonder whether they’ve really had epiphanies, or they’re just doing it out of political self-preservation. Hmmm.

Even conservative Republicans have been changing their views. Not surprising really, since polls show that millions of new, young voters support gay marriage, whereas the Republican base consists of mostly dead white men. They do vote, but not in such great numbers.

You need a scorecard to keep track of who’s “come out” in favor, who’s on the fence and who’s still in the closet. And you need a traffic cop to handle all the politicians suddenly changing direction and tripping over each other to get to the podium. For example, here’s a scene from a press conference in the Capitol last week.

“OK, folks, welcome to the media room. I’m Chad, your facilitator for today’s ‘Mea Culpa Jamboree.’ We know you’re all anxious to get some face time in front of the cameras, and we’ll get to all of you, but you’ll have to stop pushing and line up in an orderly fashion.

“All right, now, show of hands, who here has ‘seen the light?’ Good! Stand over there by the water cooler. ‘Thought long and hard?’ Over here. Discovered that a friend or loved one is gay? Okay, take a number. We’re just a little bottlenecked right now. You can get some coffee in the green room where we’re showing episodes of ‘Will and Grace’ to bring the newcomers up to speed. Expect to be here for several days.”

Just a partial list of those who have now come out in favor of same-sex marriage includes the following groups and individuals:

• Southern Preachers Against Same-sex Marriage (SPASSM)

• Coattail Riders Association of Pennsylvania (CRAP)

• Publicity Hounds of New York (PHONY)

• Front Runners And Unprincipled Demagogues (FRAUD)

• Seventeen direct descendants of Attila the Hun

• Six of the Seven Dwarfs

In addition, the Governor of Massachusetts has proposed changing his state’s name from “The Bay State” to “The Gay State.” And, in a stunning development, the ghost of Henny Youngman appeared at the Lincoln Memorial and intoned, “Take my husband, PLEASE!”

An Alabama congressman declared that, not only was he now in favor of same-sex marriage, he was also in favor of letting black people vote. Another Congressman said he was even thinking of “going gay” himself for a month. And the Grand Poobah of the NRA went so far as to say that there should be an armed guard at every same-sex marriage ceremony.

An aide to the lone Democratic congressmen who has not yet announced his position said that the lawmaker was not available for comment because he was “deep in thought in a cave in the Himalayas.”

So, has the civil rights boat sailed? Can we pull up the ladder and cruise on, secure in the knowledge that we as a people have done all we can in pursuit of civil rights? The answer is “Yes.” The issue of same-sex marriage is “The last great civil rights movement,” according to Adam Nagourney of The New York Times (the last great newspaper), and nine out of 10 experts agree.

So then, what’s ahead for the American people? Will we just party like it’s 1999, or is there someone else we can help? Like maybe, uh, the rest of Creation? We could work to eliminate pollution, global warming, human trafficking, slaughterhouses and factory farms for starters. There’s plenty to do now that we have the time. And while we’re at it, can we please create some good TV sitcoms involving heterosexuals? You know, like Larry the Cable Guy. He’s straight; right? I can’t keep track. Where’s my scorecard?

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