On Friday night, I took my son to see Blue Man Group. He (and I) enjoyed it immensely.
The Briar Street Theater, where Blue Man plays in Chicago, is in the heart of "Boys Town," the neighborhood where many of Chicago's gay men and women live and where there are plenty of gay bars and other gay-friendly institutions. As we walked to the theater, two people stopped us and handed us a pamphlet announcing the demonstration the next day in downtown Chicago against California's Proposition 8, or "Proposition Hate" as it's been aptly dubbed.
We didn't go, but we were glad to see news of a great turnout here and in all of the other cities. We have close friends and relatives who are gay or lesbian. Last night, I was talking about it all to co-worker Phil. He is, like me, straight and a parent. This is, he pointed out, the great civil rights issue of our time. We both puzzled over the opposition that some straight people have to affirming the basic civil right of marriage to same-sex couples. He also mentioned Vikki's recent post about how the owner of "El Coyote," a popular Los Angeles eatery, was begging gay folks not to boycott her restaurant. "Teh gays" are a big part of the clientele of the restaurant he and I work at, and almost any other. I think support for "Proposition Hate" is going to bite a lot of people in the ass.
A lot of the opposition to gay rights is religious-based. This hasn't done much to blunt my general contempt for most organized religion (there are many churches that do teach love and tolerance, to give credit where credit is due). It made me think of this scene in "The West Wing" in which President Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen, punks a character who is a thinly-veiled Dr. Laura by suggesting that he take every word of the Old Testament literally.