Watching City Hall #260, (2-16-04)
What is done out of love
is beyond Good & Evil.
(Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche)
Never was there ever a more vivid contrast portraying the very best and the very worst allowed under our system of government (ever evolving thank you!) never was there a more revealing physical representation of the kinds of philosophical assholes and angels who co-exist in the City of St. Francis then, the scene inside and outside and across the street from City Hall during the days of our own Wedding-stock. Thousands of people have come from all over the planet (and, everyone brought a once & future boost to the local tourist industry). I met couples who came here from Switzerland and further. You think theyre not going to come back and celebrate here on anniversaries? You watch the tourist numbers in the Castro next Valentines day. Watch the hotels. Hell, if Valentines day didnt come with Presidents day, wed have to make it a separate local 3-day weekend just to accommodate the long rang planning for the extra tourists who will now come here.
Ahhh, way to go Gavin. You will forever be the Marrying Man for the City. A big thanks to Steve Kawa (and, congratulations to you and your family)
I have joined you, Steve, and a thousand other newly-weds who were a combination of released slaves and as they were newly-weds! Ive been partying both with newlyweds and on their behalf since my granddaughters birthday on the 12th (Flash! Inside sources say that Marc Solomon will pop the question to long-time partner George Aluska and hopes they can be wed by Board President, Matt Gonzalez before the facists storm the courts Tuesday).
Personally, I made it to da Hall 3 days in a row to drink in the experience. I mean, what a town. What an incredible feeling. I couldnt believe that Id ever walk into the kind of an energy field that enveloped the Matt Gonzalez for Mayor headquarters last year. Now, here it was two months later & The City was giving me another such memory. I witnessed a wedding (we all wept the energy was so powerful Rich Hillis told me hed done 50 ceremonies and that everyone cried almost all of the time) I witnessed a ceremony with Michelle Monagan (my kitty, Naomis new mom) I mean, we legally witnessed a ceremony. I want my granddaughter, Tandiwe to be able to read grandpas name as a party to a lawsuit brought by right wing religious bigots against loving people. So, Michelle and I signed some papers to make us a part of legal history. I signed papers to make two guys named Jon and Alain, whom Id never seen in my life and probably would never see again signed papers making them spouses for life. I stood and witnessed the wedding ceremony of these strangers and I cried Michelle cried Jon and Alain wept the guy doing the ceremony wept. We signed the documents and wiped away our tears and I wondered from whence came the enormous pool of emotion permeating the entire City.
It was a turning of the negative into the positive. It was the joy of the first women when they voted for the first time. It was the joy of black slaves upon emancipation. It was the product of a total national history of suppression, cruelty and exploitation being reversed. Thats the kind of reservoir from which sprung this emotion.
Thats what makes this town so incredible. Lord, you could live 100 years in St. Louis (my home town) and never have an experience like Gonzos campaign and Newsoms gay marriage initiative. Thats because everyone thinks the same back there. No one is trying to expand the breadth of human tolerance. Ethnocentric bigots like John Ashcroft rule the roost. I walked the 4 stories of the building and watched as 50 wedding ceremonies proceeded simultaneously. I walked through the roses strewn for hundreds of feet to form aisles up and down the buildings magnificent backdrop San Francisco had come out for this emancipation of an oppressed minority. As the phenomenon proceeded, people brought free wedding cake (cut into hundreds of pieces each but, always a new cake arrived) San Franciscans brought umbrellas and blankets and lawn chairs and food and champagne there was lots of champagne. Then, wiping my eyes, I wandered out onto the front stairs of City Hall and gazed across the street and got a short-circuit in my buzz. There, gathered like a pack of drooling hyenas was a group of 19 Moslem bigots. Like some kind of new age Nazi pigs, they felt safe to taunt 2,000 loving and peaceful people. I felt compelled to go and speak with the brothers and sisters.
The Shame of the churches
We called 15 churches and they all said they agreed with us but they wouldnt come out to demonstrate. This was the comment of the Moslem head man who was doing most of the talking for the hate-filled group. So, we have to be here for everyone! I looked with dismay at these misguided and deadly dangerous sons-a-bitches and thought about Hitler and the Catholics and the Jews. These were the new Nazis. And, the catholics were doing it again. One of the dailies reported that the local Catholic bishop, a pig named Levada, expressed his disappointment at The Citys decision to allow gays to marry. Now, this is the same bastard who has been in the paper the last few years for shielding rapists and pedophile priests. Shielding the guilty and persecuting the innocent! No, wait, hes a catholic bishop. They dont persecute minorities. They just look the other way while the out barbarians put Jews and gays and gypsies into gas chambers and ovens. The Catholics were doing it again in San Francisco. Looking the other way. Offering support to evil behind the scenes.
So were the Jews!! It suddenly hit me as I looked around that I shouldnt be happy that the priests and ministers and rabbis werent over here demonstrating against gay rights. No, I should be angry that they werent on the other side, performing the wedding ceremonies themselves! Maybe Im too hard on the priests. And, the rabbis. There are, after all, other moral spotlights in San Francisco. Lets see, who else should be here standing up for the oppressed because they share a common history of oppression and torture and murder?
Where was the Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial? Hell, hes taken millions from gays over the years. When they need him, where is he? Amos Brown? Edgar Boyd? I should think the best maybe they were home preparing their Sunday sermons in which theyll tell their congregations that all Gods children are equal and should be treated equally. Think theyre gonna do that? In your friggin dreams.
Youd think you could at least count upon the clergy that claims to represent the two American minorities who have been enslaved and slaughtered for thousands of years simply because of the color of their skin and their beliefs. They werent there. Only the face of evil appeared. That would be the fundamentalist Moslems. All but the head man were dumber than the sidewalk upon which they stood. I joined them.
You want scripture? I got your scripture!
My father preached the gospel for 70 years. I know a few things in the Good Book too. I flipped my press pass to show my picture & took out my small notebood & pen (I seldom actually write, but its amazing how a press pass, notebook and pen can loosen tongues.) I went from sign to sign reading them. They all had two things in common. First, they were all in the same handwriting. And, second, none of them said anything about gay marriage. Not a word. They were all about sodomy. I spoke to the women first (none of the 9 women looked to be out of their teens and most appeared to be Caucasian Americans).
h.: (pointing to one of their signs) You think sodomy is bad?
ladies: (lots of nodding)
h.: Its legal here you know.
ladies: (looking at each other)
h.: You think it should be illegal?
ladies: (more enthusiastic nods, one speaks) The Book says it is against Allahs will.
h.: (the men are closing to listen, particularly the head man) You believe everything in the Book?
ladies: (one dressed in lavendar gown with scarf continues as spokesperson) Of course!
h.: Do you believe that if you commit adultery, you should be stoned to death?
ladies: No response, they just look at each other.
h.: Behind you here, there used to be a pool sunk in ground. We could bury the adulterous women here up to their necks and sell stones to throw at them. Maybe a dime each for little stone for the children and up to $1000 for stones big enough to crush your skull. We could charge extra for the men to stand closer. (the women are bug-eyed and the men are angry) With all of the adultery in San Francisco, we could stone a hundred women a day out here easily. (I turned to the head man.)
h.: Headman. How many Moslems in the world?
Headman: ONE POINT THREE BILLION!
h.: Headman. Do you believe adulterous women should be stoned to death?
headman: (emphatically) Yes! It is in the Book.
h.: Are there gay Moslems?
Headman: (Shakes his head in the negative.)
h.: Around 5% of them are gay, just like all people.
Headman: No. It is not allowed.
h.: So, you would bring your intolerance here. You would persecute our gays and murder our women. You would turn Alioto Plaza in the City of St. Francis into a killing ground to satisfy your hatred. (I squared in front of him in case he attacked) I dont think I like you very much headman.
He stared, then looked up. It had begun to rain. I closed my notebook and put it away without having written anything. The women had grown quiet when the headman began to speak. Now, they began to huddle in the rain. I turned and went back to the sidewalk before City Hall. I slowly traversed the quickly slickening street where traffic crawled to observe and encourage what the marrying man had wrought. Horns blared as people waved and cheered our marry-in one car stopped and a man ran out and handed an umbrella to an older lesbian couple. I paused on the sidewalk, pulled out my old green army fatigue hat and pulled it over my balding head. I paused and sighed to release the tension and breathed in the air of freedom and joy amongst the hundreds of gays. Their energy instantly dissipated the negative vibes from across the street. I was heartened, then began to feel buoyant. Someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was one of two guys with their arms around each other, entwined to share the single umbrella. He was pointing across the street.
The fundamentalists were leaving. No one was offering them umbrellas. I noted that the single cop whod watched our scene (Id talked to him a couple of times over the past few days to get a feel of the crowd & his reads always good) I honestly had forgotten he was there during my conversation with the bigots. His car was, in fact, only 20 or 30 feet behind and to one side of them. The officer had gotten out of his car and was standing with his arms crossed in the rain as it gained in intensity. He made no move to get the parka that was surely in the cruiser. He took the full force of Gods chilling shower along with the Moslems. The headman saw he had my attention and pointed to his head. He was making a comment through sign-language about my military fatigue hat. I laughed and nodded, giving him a thumbs-up. He assumed I was CIA or something and my cap confirmed it for him. I like that. Let him think hes surrounded by CIA and military intelligence and the FBI and the BLT league. It made me feel good to see his paranoia. Let him think hes always watched and that his home and car and business are full of microphones. I like the idea of evil people having to whisper their ugly filth.
These Moslems represent only a small minority of Moslems world-wide. Kind of like John Ashcroft represents only a small minority of Christians. Like Ashcroft, their influence far outweighs their numbers. My last wife was a Moslem. She was no bigot. Quite the contrary. My parents were fundamentalist Christians and neither of them were bigoted. I was married to a Buddhist and she wasnt a bigot. Thats enough of a disclaimer. Suffice to say that Im no bigot. I dont care about your gender or color or religion or ethnicity. If youre an asshole, Ill come after your ass. Particularly, if youre hiding behind a pulpit. I say it is time for the gay community and their supporters to expose the San Francisco clergy who should have been at City Hall over the past few days and were absent.
First gay wedding at Glide?
Im sure that now that gay marriage is legal that the Reverend Cecil Williams will be glad to officiate at a gay wedding. Bishop Levada should perform such ceremonies for free at the Cathedral as an offering from the Catholics for the thousand years they left gays to be murdered. So, buy your bags of rice and be ready to cover the stairs of these churches with a shower of same as a wish for good luck to each loving couple. Just dont buy the flowers for the wedding quite yet. Rice lasts.
I have a message for clergy who refused to join in gay wedding ceremonies. Unfortunately, there wasnt space here. However, I think Ive said it all in a short recording.
Just call: 382-5968