The nation held its collective breath and turned not just blue but a veritable rainbow of colors as the Supreme Court spent a goodly part of two days hearing oral arguments on gay marriage. Well, at least they were in the same room as arguments about gay marriage were oralled. In a position to eavesdrop on a series of gay marriage arguments, if they were of a mind to.
You can never really pin down which of the nine Phat Ebony Robes is hearing what. Court watchers long have presumed Justice Scalia underwent a powdered- wig strict constructionist-filter installation years back that insures nothing post-18th century funnels through to his cognitive cells. And if Antonin can't hear it, as far as Clarence Thomas is concerned, it doesn't exist. The others hear what they want to hear. Proving they do indeed represent America.
The Supremes will weigh in on the Defense of Marriage Act and the legality of California's Proposition 8 sometime in June. Until then the suspense is killing us -- thrillingly. Although the fact they're using "opposite-sex marriage" to describe heterosexuality should already be counted as a victory. And like everything else that comes before the court, final disposition probably depends on which side of the bed Justice Kennedy wakes up.
Don't tell the Berobed Ones (mustn't allow deeper insecurity complexes to develop), but it doesn't really matter how they rule, because gay marriage is on the fast track to be permanently woven into the fabric of our national diversity quilt. The handwriting is on the wall. And the penmanship is stunning.
Across the country, same-sex marriage polls have risen faster than property taxes in a tulip bubble. Pollster Nate Silver of The New York Times, the nation's soothsayer, expects national support to increase 1.5 percentage points each year. And let us lay thanks at the remote of the one-eyed HD beast, television.
Familiarity breeds tolerance. Gay celebs such as Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper have encouraged kids of today to live their lives openly. Allowing middle America enough interactive glances to realize the gay community doesn't devote most of its waking hours attempting to engorge the Armies of Sodom brandishing pitchforks and sporting horns. Like we were told. Over and over.
When you say "gay people," the emphasis is on the people and the only real difference between gay and straight is which way your head faces during sex. That's it. And an uncanny ability to assemble amazing appetizer trays. Grilled asparagus wrapped in goat cheese and prosciutto? Yes! Fist bump. Blow it up. Now talk about it.
And forget the malevolent clowns of the Westboro Baptist Church, who make God laugh so hard he spits milk through his nose. Casual bigotry is dying off. Literally. Old people and their parents with a life radius of 30 miles. Oh sure, there will always be prejudice, stupidity and fear but society is rapidly realizing that "gay" is just another adjective; like blonde or buff or stinky.
Whether its generational shifts, enlightened minds or disco going mainstream, the tide of tolerance is proving inexorable. Only a matter of time before gay marriage is universally accepted, and then it will seem perfectly routine until eventually it becomes mandatory. Dibs on Clooney!
Five-time Emmy nominee Will Durst's new one-man show, "BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG," opens previews at The Marsh, San Francisco, on April 16. Go to themarsh.org or willdurst.com for more info.