So a couple of Sundays ago, I’m sitting in church and the Gospel Lesson is the one on Jesus’ Parable of the Ten Virgins. Since the concept of 10 virgins may be a long elapsed memory for many of us in the LGBTQ community, let me sum it up for you. It’s about a wedding, a bunch of guests and lamps. Now, if we are going to talk about things that gay people do well, it would be weddings, banquets and lamps. I mean seriously, after a certain age, we know that we need to avoid overhead lighting and place our lamps strategically in every room. That analogy is for the gay men. Keep reading.
Almost as if by some sort of prophetic pronouncement, the Gospel Lesson that week outlined the events that were to follow in South Carolina. A few days later, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel struck down South Carolina's same-sex marriage ban saying it violates the U.S. Constitution. This ruling opened the door for marriages to take place as soon as today (Nov. 20). Time to get those lamps ready.
In the Gospel story, the main players are five wise virgins who are prepared and five foolish virgins who are not prepared. For the sake of argument, let’s put the LGBTQ community, Justice Gergel and the 4th District Court of Appeals which already ruled on this matter in July into the camp of the wise virgins. And of course, we can toss recently reelected South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Gov. Nikki Haley and all of their supporters into the camp of the foolish virgins. I know this analogy can be somewhat dubious because Wilson and Haley have spent so much of their time and their political capital screwing the gay community that neither party could be properly declared virgo intacta. That’s right, I said it.
Almost immediately charging out of the reelection gate, both Haley and Wilson were already dedicating themselves to fight for the sanctity of marriage in South Carolina. The problem is, this is a battle that is already lost and they are quite possibly too foolish to recognize it. When countless constitutional and legal scholars are telling you the inevitable outcome of a case based on the law and the Constitution and you continue to ignore it, what other word can possibly describe your actions? Insanity pleas notwithstanding, of course.
Derek Black, a constitutional law professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law said that Wilson’s quest is analogous to a football team that is “10 touchdowns behind with 10 seconds to go in the game.” Any New York Jets fan should understand that comparison. Black further stated, “You can’t score 10 touchdowns in 10 seconds. Wilson is simply playing a loser’s endgame.” OK that’s one analogy for the lesbians. Now we’re even. Let’s get back to those virgins.
You would think that even a foolish virgin would know when he or she is defeated, but not so with Wilson. He vowed to fight on. Almost as if on cue or divine intervention on Tuesday, two days before the aforementioned deadline, the 4th U.S. District Court of Appeals denied the request from Wilson for a stay on the court’s previous ruling. Done deal. But no, even that was not enough for the petulant Wilson.
"This issue has not yet been resolved nationally," Wilson said in a statement. He further expanded on his plan by saying, “Today's ruling by the Fourth Circuit does not end the constitutional obligation of this Office to defend South Carolina law.”
I would like to sum it up for Wilson with the following judgment. His asinine and discriminatory behavior has now officially put South Carolina behind West Virginia in the human rights arena. All apologies to any Mountaineers out there.
There is nothing left for Wilson to defend regarding the biblical sanctity of marriage. He was not elected to be the Pope of South Carolina. Nobody should care about Wilson’s personal views on marriage and when he allows those views to interfere with what is clearly the will of the majority of the people, then he needs to be standing on the other side of the door.
America has moved on. The wise people are inside at the wedding banquet while you are still standing outside in both the literal and the moral darkness rubbing on your long-since burned out lamps and hoping for a genie to appear and grant you a wish that is not coming.
In the interim and while we begin the process of applying for marriage licenses and celebrating equality, I will close with the words of the Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.
“We are overjoyed that marriage equality will take effect in South Carolina this week. LGBT families in South Carolina will finally be treated as equal under the law in their home state. This is a day that so many have fought tirelessly for. At the same time, we know that you can still be fired simply for being gay in South Carolina. Protection from discrimination in the workplace is the next step in our push for full equality.”
Never settle people. We are almost there.
Out & About
Friday, Nov. 21 – Prime Timers of Myrtle Beach gather at the Pulse Ultra Club, 2701 S. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach at 5:30 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Additional information can be found on the Web site: www.primetimersww.org/primetimersmb.
Monday, Dec. 1 – World AIDS Day will be observed by CareTeam with a flashlight vigil in Plyler Park in front of the Skywheel from 6-7 p.m. Starbucks will provide hot chocolate for the event. For additional updates, visit www.facebook.com/careteam.
Friday, Dec. 5 – Takeover Grand Strand will host a holiday-themed First Friday Happy Hour featuring a four-course Christmas dinner at Martin's Restaurant, 7200 North Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach. Tickets are available via www.takeovergrandstrand.com.
Monday, Dec. 8 - Takeover Grand Strand hosts a Know Your Rights seminar at 6:30 p.m. at the Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway located at 1351 21st Ave, N., Myrtle Beach. Details can be found at www.takeovergrandstrand.com.