Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vegas Gays Prove They're As Tacky As Straights!

OK, folks. I'm embarrassed by the Vegas gays at this very moment.

Here's an image of the first couple who married in Massachusetts in 2004:

Here's what one of the first gay couples to wed in Iowa earlier this year looked like on their wedding day:

And, most touchingly, here's what the first couple in California, ages 84 and 87, looked like on their wedding day last year:

And here's an example of what the news media is going to circulate two days from now when Nevada gays begin to legally unite under the new domestic partnership law:

No, really. Let me explain.

The push for marriage equality is about showing that, as couples, gays are essentially the same as any hetero couple in ways that matter. The same relationship issues, same motivations for wanting to be devoted to one another, same variation of "lifestyles" including being parents or childless, urban or rural, conservative or liberal, etc. To persuade straight people that gay couples deserve the rights they have, gays must show that they're more similar than different.

That's part of why the first couples to join in other states have enjoyed elegant, tasteful ceremonies that are palatable to a still-uncertain Middle America.

But not in Vegas! Check it out:

History to be Made when Nevada’s First Same-Sex Couple Walks Down the Aisle Under New SB 283 Legislation

LAS VEGAS – At precisely midnight Thursday, Oct. 1, the first same-sex couple to be legally united under SB 283 Domestic Partnership legislation will walk down the aisle at the Erotic Heritage Museum Wedding Chapel. The ceremony will represent the first domestic partnership recognized under the newly-passed legislation effective Oct. 1.

Elvis-impersonator Jesse Garon, named the ‘official Elvis impersonator of Las Vegas’ by Mayor Oscar Goodman, will officiate the ceremony. The first couple to be united under the new legislation will also release seven doves to commemorate the number of years it took to pass Act 283.


Celebration of the new legislation will officially kick off at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at the Erotic Heritage Museum. Courtesy of the Cupcakery, a giant wedding cake with seven symbolic candles will be unveiled to guests with a surprise guest popping out of the cake. DJ Chris Adams will get guests in the groove with hot beats and a performance is scheduled by the Sin Sity Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Various Las Vegas artists and entertainers will be on hand to mark the occasion, including famed Frank Marino of An Evening at La Cage.

Yep, you read that right. The first same-sex couple(s) to hold a ceremony tied to their Nevada domestic partnerships will do it at a SEX MUSEUM and be officiated by an ELVIS IMPERSONATOR. It takes place after a party with RELIGION-MOCKING DRAG QUEENS.

You've gotta be kidding me. Is there nobody involved who can't see the obvious and humiliating PR disaster in the making for those who hate the gays and seek proof we're all just a bunch of sex-crazed, debauching, godless cross-dressers?

I've got nothing against sex, nothing against drag queens, nothing about religious spoofery. (Lots against Elvis impersonators, but that's besides the point.) Yet if the gays were bound to make a symbolic show out of this landmark, this is how they choose to do it? What's worse, this is apparently orchestrated by the fine folks at Q Vegas, the local gay monthly, who ought to know a thing or two about how the media works.

It would be one thing if the Erotic Heritage Museum did this on their own -- and it's clearly a publicity stunt to them to promote a wedding chapel there that also opens on Thursday -- but for Q Vegas to assist in building this whole freakfest around the moment? Why do I have the feeling that, had someone asked, queer-adoring Harrah's would've been more happy to throw a thing atop the Eiffel Tower or something? But instead it's this?

Thursday should've been a proud day for Vegas gays and their supporters. Instead, what'll be beamed out across the valley and around the world is that the gays around here have no class, no sense of propriety, no sense of occasion. Lame.


mike_ch said...

At least take solace that it probably won't get much publicity outside of town, being domestic partnership. I sorta hate to say this, but to my knowledge it has to actually be called marriage to shake awake the newsmen in West Bumblefart, Idaho.

El said...

Steve, I understand what you're feeling here from a parallel perspective.

For me, the disgust comes from Black portrayals in popular culture. Minstrel show comedies or hyper-violent thug life stories... All supported and trumpeted largely by those who should be most turned off.

It's worse when you speak up and you're accused of having no sense of humor or taking yourself too seriously. My own parents will watch most anything with Black folks... Saying they have to "support" such trash, b/c no-one else will and that I don't get it, being raised "post-struggle."

Many blacks are offended when I say there are parallels between the LGBT community and others who had to fight for their basic human rights. Still, I see those parallels.

To the point, it's pretty amazing gay marriage proponents would think that freak show is a good idea. It takes all kinds, but wow... Just wow!

ChrisR said...

That's the first time I've heard about the Sister's since the Clause 28ers in the UK in thr late 80's and Chumbawamba working with them on some of their videos in the early 90's.

I never knew they were American in origin.

Anonymous said...

Eh? NO Michael Jackson impersonators?

Gay Tony said...

Can't wait for David parks to run for county commission and they show what he brought to Nevada. You're right, steve. Total disaster and we're being led off the cliff by the q Vegas crew. Pathetic!


Sorta mean Dude.

laura said...

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions and beliefs, and I respect that greatly. I suspect that you have never visited the Erotic Heritage Museum (“EHM”). If you had, you would know that EHM encompasses 17,000sqft consisting of several exhibits and genres of erotic art and history. EHM is academically based and each exhibit is designed with purpose, thought and care. Many prominent local and international artists are exhibiting their artwork as part of EHM’s first year anniversary exhibit, “Sex on the Streets.” Since EHM opened, 80% of the exhibits have changed. The exhibits of EHM will continually change and evolve to reflect the full spectrum of human sexuality through the arts. The exhibits presented serve as an educational resource, which allows individuals to explore and conclude their own judgments regarding the content. EHM is a nonprofit and it is owned/managed by a nonprofit organization that has been in existence for forty years. EHM truly is a sophisticated space and the art inside its walls are culturally relevant, as well as humanizing. Most people walk into the space calling it a “Sex Museum,” but as they are leaving they typically call it by its name because it is indeed our erotic heritage.

It is evident that you have never met a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence (“Sisters”). Sisters have been in existence for over thirty years. There are chapters all over the world. Sisters is a nonprofit organization who continually raises funds for charities in their respective communities. LV is extremely fortunate to have a chapter here. So whenever you see Sisters out on the town in full regalia, you know it is always for a good purpose. They genuinely emanate good cheer. Sisters are bound to create a stir no matter where they might be. I think seeing a painted-faced nun, in addition to wearing an outrageous outfit, would certainly generate an interesting remark. There is no doubt that the Sisters enjoy pushing boundaries re gender and social decorum, but they are very aware of etiquette and respecting boundaries even if the people casting judgment on them are not.

It is my understanding that individuals may commit to one another in meaningful ceremonies wherever they choose and as often as they choose. I do not personally know the couples that wish to have a commitment ceremony at EHM. I am honored that they are sharing this memorable event with EHM. One of our permanent exhibits is the recreation of a Roman-Greco wedding chapel. We have had many incredible artistic performances in that exhibit area and it extremely fitting to have a commitment ceremony there. The first couple wanting to celebrate this memorable event Vegas-style with all bells and whistles is their choice. The fact they are gay is irrelevant. EHM intends to document the event for its historical relevance. You may call it a freak show, but I would hope that the ceremony is indeed meaningful for those choosing to celebrate.

I don’t know if you are married. Have no idea what your ceremony looked like for you; however, it was your event to celebrate in whatever fashion you deemed appropriate. If I had been invited, I may have or may have not liked your planned celebration; but in all reality, it would not have mattered if I liked it or not. What did matter was that you invited me to share something that was special to you.

I hope that you will attend the event. It would also be my pleasure to give you a tour of the EHM and answer any questions that you might have re its content/archives. I’m sure the individuals at the event would be happy to talk with you.

I have lived in LV for one year. I have met many creative, intelligent and enlightened souls. I am very glad to be a part of this dynamic community. I am pleased that the Domestic Partnership legislation passed. Domestic Partnership is not intended for same sex couples alone, but provides a necessary resource for those who are committed to each other, especially in this economic climate.

Laura Henkel, D.H.S., Ph.D.
EHM Resident Curator/Artistic Director

EC Gladstone said...

For that matter...isn't the whole Elvis impersonator thing a little tired?
Couldn't we have gotten an Ellen impersonator?
Or at least gotten Frank Marino ordained?

Jesse Garon said...

Hello this is Jesse Garon the Elvis putting on tonights event for all the gay and lesbian community. I would like to say that as we created what we thought to be a fun, hitorical, and meaningful event for all of Las Vegas and the world to see, our intention was never to make fun, set back or hurt in anyway the movement so many have fought and struggled for.

I can understand Steves point of view and those of his fellow bloggers reguarding the presentation of tonights events. The media is sure to be there due to the fact there is no other party or celebration planned.

Instead of the gay community being divied once again, and simply pointing out the mistakes and problems....just once can the people who point out the problems BE PART OF THE SOLUTION?

The solution is so simple. How about we ask Lee Plotkin, Steve Friess,Kelly and Earl from Q magazine, or anyone else in the gay community to meet us at the Museum at 3 pm Wendesday....today to craft what we already have in the works to commemorate and celebtrate this historical event for all gays. For once be part of the solution and become one with us and join the celebration.

Instead of intimidating and calling for a boycot or shut down of tonights events,or any other knee jerk reactions..just stop..and think about the bigger picture. The bigger picture of the advancement of our GLTB agendas, and how we are portraied and type cast by the media.

I ask EVERYONE to come down at 3pm and HELP us put on a dignified and meaningful celebration and help us to remove any negative elements TOGETHER that may be used against us. Lets not forget one thing we are all on the same team with the same goals.

The venue and couple chose for this was in no way an accident. The museum has been fighting for all rights for all people for over 40 years and a huge supporter of gay rights.

The couple was chosen because they do represent the gay community and have done so very well. Come one, come all, lets celebrate this event together. Dignified and unified.

We must realize the historic opportunity that waits for us all in just a few hours from now

Leo Murrieta said...

My name's Leo Murrieta, and for the sake of transparency, you must know that I'm the political correspondent for the QVegas magazine.

Mr. Friess, I personally take issue with your harsh words over this event. Tonight was supposed to be about all the colors of our local rainbow coming together and celebrating a once in a lifetime moment. Not the trashy and raunchy spectacle that you make it out to be.

I speak for the gay community when I say to stop dividing us! So what, the Sisters want to dress up in full gear and attend an event, does that hurt you in some way? Isn't gay rights about the right for each of us to live openly and freely? Would you rather we all wear non-offensive colors and wear jeans and t-shirts everyday? What else do you take issue with Mr. Friess, so I can alert the media.

I apologize for coming off as agressive in my comments, but this is just another example of conservative gays taking aim at the more colorful members of our community, and I'm sick of it! The Sisters and Frank Marino are far better examples of what the gay lifestyle means than you'll ever know. Gay rights means that I can dress up in my high heels, full make up, and most comfortable wig, to head down to the grocery store to buy my eggs and milk like the other tax-paying, law abiding citizens at the checkout counter. That's what equal rights means too Mr. Friess.

The argument that you and others present against this event or other events like this are small-minded at best. Do you think that if gays had quaint and small ceremonies, that the opponents of gay rights would shout any softer? If you do, then that's very unfortunate for anybody that may read your articles.

Flame on boys and girls, flame on!


Matthew said...

Hey Steven buddy. You live in Las Vegas. If you expect any less than your a silly gay man.

I don't really see your point here. As a straight male who supports gay people, I say, way to shit on your own kind there. Speaking of self promoting... man you attack the media instead of bloging on anything remotely interesting. Your sort of a modern day media muck raker. (ahem Nina Radatich)



You get big kudos for actually identifying yourself and signing your name. But once again, you're missing the point. Read the other posts or maybe my extensive record as a journalist and columnist. I've many, many times strongly endorsed the rights of all people to be and do what they wish. I'm also well aware of my gay history and the importance of the courageous people in drag who paved the road for the start of the gay civil rights movement. And if you just look around the Web a little, you'll see that my partner and I are routinely attacked by lunatic anti-gay bloggers, so I know the feeling.

But. In most instances when there's a variety of colorful gays represented, nobody attempts to represent all gay people. When the guy in leather straps dances on the gay pride float, he represents himself, his part of a broad, diverse community. Ditto for the drag queen or the lawyer in a Polo or the guy in the T-shirt and jeans. Together, they present a complex representation of a varied people and that's as it ought to be.

If "tonight was supposed to be about all colors of the rainbow blah blah blah" then how is it that the press release for it was the first most gays had ever heard of it and how come the focus was supposed to be one particular couple who happens to include your boss? It didn't say "gays of all stripes blah blah blah." It invited the media to witness the spectacle that surrounded one particular gay couple who wanted to represent everyone. Who gave them that license?

This wasn't about community at all. This was about particular people choosing to seek personal publicity and to service their advertisers and doing so in the most haphazard and politically irresponsible way. It was about commerce, about Earl

Do you not understand that had this event gone off as it was planned, the footage from this thing would have been played endlessly in campaign ads, that Sen. David Parks' political career would be over? There's a reason so many prominent gay leaders jumped up to stop Earl from doing this. It wasn't just me. It was every sensible person who cares about what this could do when presented in the worst ways to swing voters who are notoriously torn and still developing their views on gay marriage.

It's not fair, I know. But these people wanted the media to come look at them and they wanted that media image to be the defining one of this movement and this historic moment. And when you opt to do that, you open yourself up to scrutiny and criticism, and the criticism in this case is that these people KNEW this was a bad PR move for gays (see Cory Burgess' own remark in the other post) and STILL decided to proceed.

I've said a zillion times now that neither the Sisters nor the museum nor any other specific element here are problems in and of themselves. Taken together, though, it was a molotov cocktail to a movement that will spend millions of dollars trying to persuade fair-minded, mainstream Americans that same-sex couples deserve the same rights as they have.

Unfortunately, until the Supreme Court intervenes, these people actually get to make these decisions for us. In case you haven't heard, they're really pretty nervous about giving up their hold on this marriage thing. Even in California, they turned gays back. So, yeah, I'm thinking of this as a political battle and seeing how this event would have been reduced. Period.

If you're actually a political correspondent, then try to put on your political hat and analyze the actual, real political calculus here. The people in this city who do this for a living did after they were alerted by these posts. If I was so dead wrong, I'm thinking they would've just ignored me. They've certainly done so on other occasions.

Raegeena said...

As nothing more than colorful guest to offer joy and blessings on a committment ceremony and fervent supporters of The Erotic Heritage Museum, The Sin Sity Sisters were immersed into the maelstrom of media attention concerning last evening's event. As vocal and highly visible supporters of the rights to freedom of expression and inclusion of all humankind it was not without serious consideration that we choose not to attend.

We wish to thank our Nevada state legislators, community leaders and long time friends for their efforts and bravery in advancing our state to this momentous day. Also to remind our supporters that this bill is about more than the LGBT community, it has the ability to affect everyone that wants to take advantage of it's langauage, and there in lies it's beauty.

We are sisters serving our community through our activism, safer sex education, and our HIV Drug Assistance Program (SADAP). and we are wholeheartedly committed to the continued advancement of equal rights across this nation. As such, we wish the importance of SB283 to be the focus and reason for celebration at 12:01 AM on 10-01-09.


Sister Raegeena wit Envy,
Mistress of Propaganda and Ritual
The Sin Sity Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence