- I was not slamming the Erotic Heritage Museum, whose artistic director wrote this impassioned response in the comments of the prior post that's worth reading.
- I was not slamming the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, whose outrageous get-ups and good deeds I have personally often enjoyed and whose humor I totally get in the right context.
- I was not suggesting that anyone should have anything other than the wedding or ceremony of their choosing.
However. Per No.3, the ridiculous event slated to take place tonight is primarily a publicity stunt; the media is being beckoned to come watch as "history is made," per the release. And that makes the private choices of the couple involved a matter worthy and appropriate for broader debate especially among other gay couples who are supposedly being represented by these self-appointed models. And combining No. 1 and No. 2, both fine and dandy in their own rights, with a media event for No. 3 is so obviously a bad idea that even Q Vegas editor Cory Burgess admitted as much in a comment on my Facebook page defending it:
Cory had written to clarify that Q Vegas hadn't "orchestrated" this event as I wrote but was approached to promote it. Yet they're not just promoting it, they're sort of the stars, too! As I now understand it, half of the couple at the center of this embarrassment is the magazine's associate publisher, Earl Shelton. Shelton appeared in this Review-Journal story, too, when pre-registrations for domestic partnerships were first being accepted. So this isn't a heartfelt ceremony planned out and contemplated the way normal weddings are; it's a spur-of-the-moment exercise in wish fulfillment for an advertiser at the expense of the entire community.
It's also a potential derailment of the political future of the only openly gay elected official in the state's history, State Sen. David Parks, at a time when he is considering a 2010 run for Clark County Commission. Sen. Parks has spent decades fending off the worst kind of homophobia from his opponents and he is the most significant figure responsible for the passage of any and all pro-gay legislation in Carson City over the past 12 years. That includes SB283, the domestic partnership law.
It doesn't take a political mastermind to imagine what the TV commercials and fliers in future campaigns will look like after tonight's event. It's open to the press, so anyone can come in, shoot some video of the painted-faced nuns and the sexual apparatuses on display and bank that footage to air against Parks or, say, supportive and straight Secretary of State Ross Miller or whenever Nevadans try to repeal the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage. "They wanted gay marriage," the demonic voice will intone, "but look what they did when they got domestic partnerships. Protect our children." Eeek! Don't believe they'd do that? This is running in Maine, where same-sex marriage is legal but about to be put to a vote:
See? That's how they play. Imagine that ad with some of this:
Cory defended the Erotic Heritage Museum event by saying that (a) a horrible event is better than none at all and (b) "I don't think it's much worse than any other public gay event." Which is funny because Q Vegas sponsors and in some cases orchestrates several public gay events, including this weekend's National Coming Out Day street fair, and this doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement of that effort.
But more to the point, veteran gay activist and fundraiser Lee Plotkin agreed with me entirely. He responded to Cory in the Facebook thread:
Oh, and hey! I just noticed this. Guess what else begins on Oct. 1 at the Erotic Heritage Museum? Cock-tober Fest! This just keeps getting better and better!