Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Gayest Neighborhood in Vegas?!?

Sometimes columnists, including me, insert themselves into their stories because we can be vain or lazy. This week, there was no other way. I've wanted to do something on Nevada's fake-gay-marriage thing for a while and thought maybe finding a crusty old couple in some unlikely corner of the state would make a fun piece. But it was hard to ignore that gift from the Columnist Gods, the fact that somehow I happened to live in the Fake Gay Married Mecca of Nevada and I'm Fake Gay Married. So here goes. Enjoy. -sf

Feeling good in the gayborhood
Apparently 89121 is the gayest ZIP in the state

I have noticed that my local Albertson's tends to display the Froot Loops just a little more prominently than other stores in town. I’ve also peeked into my neighbors’ iTunes lists and noticed that Broadway show tunes are disproportionately popular around here, but I try not to read too much into this sort of thing. And, yes, even though Rainbow Boulevard is way across town, those colorful arcs are undeniably brighter in the skies over my house after a good rain.

But, still. I live in the gayest ZIP code in the Silver State? Really?

It sure seems that way. It’s been six months since Nevada began allowing gays to fake-marry, creating a registry that confers to same-sex couples just about all of the statewide benefits of being hitched without calling it that, because the semantics-obsessed voters decided early last decade to constitutionally bar marriage equality. I call it “fake-married,” because we’re not allowed to call it married, and it means nothing to the government, where all the real goodies lie for married couples—in the tax code, anyway.

As of last week, 1,717 couples had declared they had “chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring” and reside together “on at least a part-time basis,” as the form reads. Nearly 300 couples a month plunk down either $50 for a boring black-and-white certificate or—as this is the state of the upsell—$65 for a colorful “ceremonial” one that looks like the sort of thing a kindergarten teacher prints out for her prized students. (Just three partnerships have been dissolved, by the way.)

Back in November, when 1,150 couples had taken this plunge, writer Alex Richards did a fun by-the-numbers box for the Las Vegas Sun, indicating that the most popular ZIP code in Nevada for gay fake-marrieds—with 50 couples registered—was 89121.

That is to say, mine.

Last week, I checked again, by obtaining the database of all the couples and their ZIP codes from the secretary of state. There were now 61 couples registered in my ZIP, including me and my partner, Miles. We’re still No. 1, with 3.5 percent of the state’s registered couples.

Huh. Who knew?

Read the REST at LasVegasWeekly.Com


atdnext said...

Congrats on your neighborhood winning the "Queerest in Vegas" award! And may I ask if 89074 made the Top 5 at least? I know we're no 89121, but you'd be surprised by some of my "gay-bors" here. :-)

atdnext said...

Oh, never mind, I double-checked your story... I knew we'd make it! So Green Valley really is becoming "Queer Valley". I at least don't feel quite as guilty for moving to the 'burbs now. :-p

MrEinSantaCruz said...

It has always boggled my mind that the Right Wing Homophobes are essentially fighting for special rights for gay people. Why should gay couples not be forced to suffer the same laws that straight married couples have ? I would love to hear what any of these Politicians would say if you asked them “Why do you support special rights for gay people ?” or even “Why do you think that same sex couples should be exempt from the Marriage Tax penalty ?”.

As a straight married man who honestly thinks that all people should be treated equally – I got to say this has always stumped me. All of the arguments against gay marriage were also used to protest/fight interracial marriage not that long ago – AND similarly to the Pro Life arguments seem to be centered on someone’s religious beliefs. There have always been people who want to say that this is a Christian country, but thank God they haven’t managed to overturn the separation of church and state … except on this issue.