I've always like Ellen, and I'm surprised that apparently so few people knew she was gay before she officially came out. Same with Rosie O'Donnell. Of course, Rosie O'Donnell instantly became the world's worst caricature of a lesbian when she came out, while Ellen has continued to be her laid back, pleasant, engaging self.
Phillips: "Are you surprised by the sexual orientation, gay marriage, that these are such hot buttons issues in American in 2004?"
DeGeneres: "Am I surprised? No. No. You know, I wish that I wasn't seen differently. I wish that people looked at me and just saw that I was a good person with a good heart. And that wants to make people laugh. And that's who I am. I also happen to be gay. And I would love to have the same rights as everybody else. I would love, I don't care if it's called marriage. I don't care if it's called, you know, domestic partnership. I don't care what it's called.
And at the same time I know there are people watching right now saying, you know, it's sick it's wrong, it's this. And it's like, I can't convince them that I'm not sick or wrong, that there's nothing wrong with me.
This is interesting because while there are some people who think gays are sick or wrong, but they aren't the majority (if the polls are to be believed). The world always seems to break roughly into thirds, and this issue is the same. One third of people will resist gay unions to the end, another third will push for it for all they are worth, and the middle third could swing either way (pun intended).
In the election I don't think the proponents of civil unions really understood what the middle third is looking for. And the rush to gay marriages earlier in the year was, in hindsight, a public relations disaster. If not even fairly liberal Oregon can be persuaded then there is still a long way to go.
Amazingly enough, I stumbled across Andrew Sullivan's website where there is an article way back to 1989 that is quite interesting. The one major problem with his argument is that the word "marriage" is such a hot button item that "gay marriage" as a term and concept is DOA.
My own thoughts are that the first thing that needs to happen is that church and state must be separated. The marriage process is the last remaining unholy alliance, with the church deeply entangled in the legal process of creating marriages. If we separate the legal from the religious, life would be much simpler.
The government is then only in the business of recording legal relationships between people and the religious institutions are then only in the business of blessing those relationships in whatever way they choose.
Or maybe that's just too simple.