QUEERTY EXCLUSIVE– In a stunning overnight development, gays and lesbians across the globe have, at long last, secured their equal rights.
In the U.S., Congress stayed up past midnight, passing legislation that gives gays and lesbians the right to marry and the “right to be free from discrimination,” which includes provisions for employment non-discrimination and the right for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. Determined not to be left behind, the governments of 120 other nations passed similar bills. On the streets of New York, San Francisco, London, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Beijing and Baghdad, LGBT people took to the streets, weeping and shouting for joy. “Thank you, thank you for treating us as human beings!” shouted one anonymous lesbian in Dallas to whoever passed by.
“I don’t know what we were thinking, to be honest”, said Republican John Boehner, explaining his party’s sudden reversal of policy. “Rush and me and the boys were kicking it back at Stetson’s when these two dudes came in and sat down at the table next to us.” Boehner continued, “It was pretty clear they were on a date and everyone around the table got to talking and next thing you knew, I was up on the Hill saying, ‘This is so stupid. How could we possibly treat our fellow Americans as second class citizens?”
The decision to act quickly came as a shock to many observers, but as President Obama signed the legislation early this morning, he remarked, “You know, um, you see– Perhaps it would have been better had I moved on this, you know, issue– sooner, but I am very happy to see that the Republican party has taken the, well, leadership on this issue. As soon as my teleprompter arrives, I will — uh — have something inspirational to say.”
Across the country this morning, former anti-gay advocates say they are seeing things in a new light. Anita Bryant, the former bigoted crusader told Diane Sawyer by phone this morning, “Let’s be honest. I was angry at myself. Angry that I lived in Florida. Angry I couldn’t keep my own house in order and so what I did was go after an easy target. It was wrong. I’m ashamed of myself and ashamed when I think that my intolerance has caused so much pain to so many people. Please, please forgive me.”
Gay rights leaders expressed bewilderment at the legislation, as well as elation. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese released a statement saying:
“The day we’ve worked for is finally here. I wish we could say we had a part in this. Aw heck, we’ll take credit for it anyway. Please send a check and/or hold a fundraising dinner in our honor sometime soon. In the meantime, I guess we’re going to have to find something else to do. We heard a rumor that gay teens face discrimination and that there’s some sort of drug problem in the gay community. Maybe we could do something about that?”
The trans community was particularly shocked to see that they were included in all the legislation as well. Said Shana Wolfson, a prominent trans rights advocate:
“It’s sort of wonderful to find that our rights were included with gays and lesbians without us having to raise a finger. It’s sort of nice to be told that our own struggles are just as important as those of gays and lesbians and to be treated with dignity without having to beg and plead for understanding is, well, it’s just a nice feeling.”
In Oklahoma City, Ed Plainville & William Harris said they were looking forward to their wedding day, as soon as they set the date. “Our parents just called us both, out of the blue and said ‘Hey, when are you boys going to get hitched?”, said Harris. “What’s weird is that up until now, they always called Ed, my ‘roommate’, even though I’ve come out to them like, six times now?”
On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly and Anne Coulter appeared together and told audiences:
“Why we made a big deal about this issue for such a long time is a total mystery to us. Maybe it’s all the hypnotics they give Fox anchors, who knows? I mean, seriously, how could we have ever though that two loving people wanting to express their love could be wrong? Isn’t there enough hate in the world already?” Bill-O added, “You know, Keithy [Olbermann] got it right when he said that we should do everything in the world to nurture and support love, because really, when you think about it, isn’t everything else just a distraction? Now, let’s talk about those immigrants.”