Sad, but true - California is way behind the curve these days. Oh, we may have led the way once, as the birthplace of movies, right-turn-on-red, flower power, and electing movie stars as governors, but we are hopelessly out of date when it comes to real cultural progress. It was bad enough when we were shown up by old fuddy-duddy New Englanders like Massachusetts and Connecticut. But now one of those mid-western, heartland red states we've always thumbed our noses at has shown us who's really up to date. And Iowa? How can the state immortalized for disapproving of pool tables (in The Music Man) legalize gay marriage before the really hip states?
It's gotten to the point where California and New York are trying to prove which is closer to getting there - here in Calif. we claim we sort of had gay marriage, but we're waiting for the court decision on Prop 8, the state referendum we insist was skewed by out-of-state Mormons throwing their money around; meanwhile, in Albany, legislators are bragging that their state was the first one to sort of get a gay marriage bill started without a court mandate, even though it hasn't passed the state assembly yet. While they bicker, betrothed gay couples will be leaving San Francisco and Jones Beach for such hotspots as Waterloo and Des Moines (or maybe Bridgeport, Connecticut) for their destination weddings, and stay tuned for leather bars and lesbian coffee houses to proliferate in Burlington and Montpelier. (And how's this for pathetic - I had to look up Vermont cities online, I couldn't even think of any!)
I actually feel sorry for those Defense of Marriage folks - it's one thing to rail against the cross-dressing commie pinko weirdos in the Castro or Miami Beach, or for Sarah Palin to insist she supports 'real Americans', not the effete liberals who live in California or New York (which I guess are no longer part of America?) But it's a lot harder to rant about the lack of traditional values in Vermont or Iowa. Meanwhile, none of their predictions has materialized, or at least I haven't heard of any Connecticut bluebloods petitioning to marry their dogs or Vermont maple trees turning gay.
What's next, folks, will South Dakota and Kansas be next? How can California possibly maintain its image as the nation's weirdest state? (Although when it comes to marriage, Utah still has that polygamy thing to live down . . . . ) Come on, folks, we have to get it together quickly, so that California is once again ahead of the curve - I mean, everyone else has right turn on red, there are indie music festivals in Kentucky, and in San Francisco's once bizarre Castro neighborhood, a proliferation of suburban-type families are living happily among the cross-dressers and "Hot & Hunky" hamburger stands.
If we don't restore our reputation soon, we'll end up being outdone by dozens of other states - and it would be truly humiliating if Utah legalizes gay marriage before we do.