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08/16/2013

Video: Raising a glass with a pointedly clenched fist

by Jeremy Hooper

I've had the same experience that Thomas describes here:

Except my experience hasn't been as much with Republican party officials as it has with social conservatives who work directly for the groups that oppose our rights. When I got married, I got actual notes of congratulations from people who work for organizations with words like "family" and "values" in their titles. When national media outlets chose my wedding for certain kinds of coverage, some of these same kinds of worker bees from these same kinds of orgs wrote to tell me how cool they thought it was. Others have praised my book, even though every last page of it stands in repudiation of the anti-LGBT work that pays their bills. It is a truly bizarre thing to experience.

But at the same time, I also kind of get it. The other side has been playing games with our lives for so long that some of them probably do see this as a sort of on-the-job, leave-it-on-the-factory-line, let's-agree-to-disagree kind of conversation that they can separate from the nice gay couple who they encounter at a cocktail party. Their "culture war" has been so fully geared to some sort of unseen awfulness detached from reality that many of them likely don't see any hypocrisy in toasting human happiness even while they continue to roast "lifestyles" and "agendas." They might think I'm fine and Thomas is fine ("well you're not like those gays," some have even said to me), yet still think that there is this other terrible force out there that is still worth combatting.

But it's not okay. It's so, so not. It's time for all of our opponents to own the literal human cost attached to this decades-long "culture war." You cannot raise a glass to my marriage if you are a cog in a wheel that wants to steamroll over it with state and federal bans. If you tell me "congratulations!" at the same time that your iPhone is buzzing with a Federal Marriage Amendment strategy email, your words are hollow, your work is irreconcilable with your sentiment, and the most notable part about your raised glass is the clenched fist that holds it.

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