There’s Just No News Today

There’s Just No News Today

There’s just no news today. The President was cloistered all alone in The Oval Office, so there are no news reports of any shenanigans or misbehaviors on his part. Plus, there were no terrorist attacks in either Europe or the Middle-East. And, sadly, there were no new juicy sex scandals involving government officials, ranging from senators to governors to mayors and city council members.

Private businesses simply closed their doors to all journalists yesterday, no access. Reportedly, most major corporations have agreed to institute a new nationwide rule: if any employee talks to a journalist, his or her job is in jeopardy. So, needless to say, there were no corporate whistle-blowers, neither yesterday nor today.

And, for the first time in decades, there were no news stories about celebrities. Perez Hilton didn’t post a single gossip item today, not a one. Celebrity thingees were going so slow, that it’s rumored Perez took the day off to do some whale impersonations with his bestest buddy Jason “Gummi Bear” Davis (Perez is still trying to get over the loss of his “kissy-kissy” John Mayer) ) at a Malibu beach. Lately, there have been so many unflattering articles about celebrities, ranging from the A-list to D-list celebrities, that public relations representatives would not give interviews with any of their clients yesterday or today. Now there was one celebrity report that was released yesterday, which at first looked as though it might turn out to be a good news story for today. Avant News released the findings of a large-scale, empirically-based study of the trajectory of celebrities and celebrity-hood, which reached the conclusion that in recent years there has been a remarkable rise in short-term celebrity status among citizens from all walks of life.

For the first time, according to our projections,” Dr. K. Phillip Townsend, a statistician at Rutgers University in New Jersey (many might remember Dr. Townsend from his three-week appearance on Fox TV’s Tenured and Untamed last spring), said, “America now has more celebrities than fans.” That trend, which determined that the current celebrity-to-fan ratio (CTFR) is 52:48, is due to multiple factors, including the proliferation of venues for reality television, politics, sporting events, and tabloid news outlets, but even more to do with a substantial “lowering of the bar” that is required for the elevation of an ordinary person to celebrity status, according to Dr. Townsend.

Fans tend to be fiercely loyal to a given celebrity for a period ranging from thirty seconds up to four days,” co-author Dr. Griffith said. “At that point, either the celebrity is deposed by a new, bigger, brighter celebrity, or the fan’s attention span is simply unable to sustain further interest. Either way, the fan moves on and the celebrity is left out in the cold.”

Hoping to wrench a real, headline-grabbing news story out of this research report, entertainment news executives and news anchors made lightning-fast searches to track down one of those “ordinary people” who had suddenly achieved celebrity status and notoriety, hoping to land a blockbuster interview about the experience of newly-found fame, celebrity-hood and notoriety. Finally, they found who they initially thought was the perfect candidate, a Mr. Rupert Ioderm.

Rupert, an unemployed temporary worker, had achieved brief celebrity status yesterday evening during his appearance on Dancing With the Unemployed Temporary Workers on The Lifestyle Television Channel. Mr. Ioderm said that he has been very painfully affected by what he calls “post-crawl depression“, referring to the euphoria that an ephemeral celebrity experiences upon seeing his or her name briefly appear in the news crawl at the bottom of the television screen, only to disappear and never appear there again.

When I saw my name flickering by with the headline ‘Ioderm Wins Dancing With Temps Round 1, Chokes in Runoff’, I thought I’d finally found my calling,” Mr. Ioderm said. “To be famous for having had my name appear in the crawl. Life feels so empty and meaningless now. The crawl is gone. The crawl is gone away.”

So Rupert Ioderm is really old news, not News for Now, News for Today. He’s just one more example of “Just No News Today.” However, Mr. Ioderm will be appearing next month on Losers in the News and on Dancing with the Temps: A Retrospective, both of which will air on The E-Network. Now, if reporters (maybe like from Gawker or TMZ) can just manage to catch up with him quickly enough, maybe he’ll be news then. We’ll just have to wait and see.

But for now, while the bulk of our print and TV news is usually chock-full of local crimes, stupid celebrity news, just pain old silly stories, weather, sports, and consumer information (with randomly partisan narcissistic pundits giving their smarty-pants spins about government, elections and economic issues…Hello, Andrew Sullivan…), today there was absolutely nothing to report. There was just No News Today.

Just No News Today

The Beatles: A Day in the Life

I Read the News Today…Oh Boy…

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Please Remember Me and Bookmark This:

Barack Obama Speaks About Race

“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”

Senator Barack Obama spoke on Tuesday morning at Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, about matters of race and the fundamental path by which America can work together to pursue a better future. During that speech, Senator Obama often touched upon the theme of both African-American and white racial grievances. Obama had been determined to deliver a speech about race from the beginning of the campaign. However, it was the confluence of last week’s Ferraro and Wright stories, and after he’d been peppered with questions on the Friday night cable rounds about how the pastor’s inflammatory rhetoric squared with his message of unification, that he told his senior aides, “I’m going to give the speech.” The candidate’s wife, Michelle Obama, sat in the front row during the speech. She was very emotional and could be seen crying backstage after the speech was over, given the personally touching subject matter of her husband’s speech.

The video of Obama’s speech is presented below:

A Listener Tears Up During Barack Obama’s Speech

Barack Obama Speaks about Race

The New York Times has published the full text of Obama’s speech here.

Senator Obama’s speech has received glowing reviews by Jodi Cantor and Janny Scott in The New York Times, by Courtland Milloy in The Washington Post, by Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic, by David Corn in Mother Jones and by Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic.

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , ,

Please Bookmark This:

Obama Gets His Mojo Back: Trounces Hillary in South Carolina

Barack Obama Trounces Hillary in South Carolina Primary

Senator Obama’s Victory Speech

Senator Barack Obama won a commanding victory over Hillary Clinton in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday, building a coalition of support among African-American and white voters in a contest that sets the stage for a state-by-state fight for the party’s presidential nomination.  Obama’s convincing victory puts him on equal footing with Mrs. Clinton, with two wins each in early-voting states, and it gives him renewed momentum as the contest heads into a nationwide campaign over the next 10 days.

Nearly complete returns showed Obama with 55 percent of the vote, Clinton at 27 percent, and Edwards at 18 percent.  In his victory speech to supporters in Columbia (SC), Obama emphasized his message of change, referring to “this country’s desire for something new….Tonight, the cynics that said what began in the snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the good people of South Carolina,” Senator Obama said, referring to his last major victory in the Iowa caucus.  “After four great contests in every corner of this country, we have the most votes, the most delegates and the most diverse coalition of Americans we’ve seen in a long, long time.”

In the South Carolina contest, more than half of the voters were African-American, and surveys of voters leaving the polls suggested that their heavy turnout helped to drive Obama to victory.  Exit polls showed that Obama, who had built an extensive grass-roots network throughout the state, received the support of about 80 percent of the African-American voters.  He also received about one-quarter of the white vote, with Clinton and Edwards splitting the remainder.

In The Atlantic Magazine, Andrew Sullivan has described Obama’s South Carolina acceptance speech as the best that he has given so far in the presidential campaign:

“I’ve now listened to and read dozens of his speeches, on television and in person and in print.  Tonight was, in my judgment, the best.  He was able to frame the attacks on him as a reason to vote for him.  He was able to frame his foes as the status quo – beyond the Clintons or the Bushes, Democrats or Republicans.  He was able to cast his candidacy as a rebuke to the Balkanization of the American public, a response to the abuse of religion for political purposes, a repudiation of the cynicism that makes all political commentary a function of horse-races and spin.  It was an appeal to Democrats, Republicans and Independents to say goodbye to all that.  It was a burial of Rove and Morris.  And it was better than his previous speeches because he kept bringing it back to policy specifics, to the economy and healthcare and, movingly, to this misbegotten war.  The diverse coalition he has assembled – including an ornery small-government conservative like me – is a reflection of the future of this country, its potential and its irreplaceable, dynamic cultural and social mix.

This is the America we all love.  He is showing us how to find it again.  That‘s leadership.”

Update:

Today, Caroline Kennedy announced her endorsement of Barack Obama for President:

Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president.  This sense is even more profound today.  That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.”

You can read the full version of her endorsement in today’s issue of The New York Times.

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Please Be Social:

Andrew Sullivan Marries in Massachusetts: California Becomes Next Big Battle

Provincetown at Dawn

Andrew Sullivan and Aaron Tone to Marry

Three Weeks Ago I Wrote This about Andrew Sullivan’s Upcoming Marriage. Feelings Change:

Another gay marriage blob from Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic on Friday, this time about his own:

“Off to the Chapel [tomorrow, August the 27th]. Well, a garden, actually, but the same idea. I’ll be back after Labor Day, and a brief honeymoon…. In the meantime, wish me luck. I’ll see you on the other side of matrimony…. ‘

And a few days ago, in The London Times, a somewhat jittery Andrew Sullivan wrote:

“So this is what it feels like? In a week’s time I’ll be walking down the aisle with my soon-to-be husband. Our families are both coming for the big day. We’re getting hitched in Massachusetts, where I’ve lived every summer for the past decade or so, and which is the only state in America where civil marriage is legal for everyone.

Every now and again I have to pinch myself. This is real? For me? It is hardly possible that it could be real for anyone. But me? After so long?

A brief personal history: in 1989, as a junior editor at The New Republic, I got involved in an editorial argument about proposed domestic or civil partnerships for gay couples. The idea had emerged in the 1980s in several cities, partly because of the trauma of couples torn asunder by hostile relatives in the Aids crisis.

Some social conservatives were understandably worried that by setting up an institution like “domestic partnership”, we were creating “marriage-lite”, an institution that would spread to heterosexual couples and weaken the responsibilities and prestige of marriage itself.

As a gay conservative I found both arguments compelling. I saw the pressing need to give gay couples legal protection, but I could also see the danger that an easy-come-easy-go pseudo-marriage could pose for society as a whole.

The solution, however, seemed blindingly obvious to me.

“Well, why not let gays get married as well?” I asked. “Isn’t that the true conservative position?”

My liberal bosses loved the idea of irritating conservatives with a conservative argument. So I obliged. The cover illustration was the first time that a leading magazine had put two guys on a wedding cake on the cover.

The piece created a mini-sensation. I enjoyed the buzz, but the more I thought about it the more convinced I became that this was not just a necessary change, but also a long overdue one. With straight marriage no longer legally linked to children, and with gays desperately needing integration into their own families and society, it seemed like a no-brainer to me.

It was a philosophical decision for me, not a personal one. I was in my twenties and had no intention myself of getting married. In fact, I was a pretty swinging bachelor. But it was the principle that mattered.

Almost two decades later, after years of intense political debate, after years of personal activism, court cases, congressional testimony, threatened constitutional amendments, civil disobedience and a global revolution in marriage rights, the political has now become personal for me. It’s a week away. And I officially have the jitters.

We decided on the most minimalist wedding possible – basically close family only. (We’ll have a bigger party for friends later.) We’re getting married in the same place – a beach house – where we are having the tiny reception. It’s a block down the beach from where we live.

We have the licence, the judge, the clothes, the menu, the photographer (although he hasn’t been in touch lately – gulp), and the rings. I’ve written out the civil liturgy. We’ve settled on the vows. I should relax now, right?

The other night it hit me for the first time that this is really about to happen. I guess I had just put it out of my head until it was only a matter of a week or so away. My fiance, Aaron, and I have lived together for three years. I have no qualms about our actual relationship. For me, this is for life.

However, standing up in front of my family and my spouse’s and saying the vows out loud has me in a state of butterflies. I can go on television and barely break a sweat, but I’m terrified of performing in front of my own family.

I’m scared that I’ll lose it. I bawled through the last same-sex wedding I went to. When I was diagnosed with HIV 14 years ago, I assumed that this day would never come. And now that it has, the emotional impact is a little hard to measure.

You fight for something, never expecting it to happen, let alone to you, and then it does and it can overwhelm. Taking yes for an answer can be harder than no.

Maybe it’s a function of having overthought this issue for so long; maybe it’s just handling a big family occasion of any sort (Christmas is bad enough). Maybe it’s a lifetime in which my actual relationships have always been private, or so targeted by political enemies that I’ve become very defensive.

Maybe I’m scared that two decades of passionate advocacy in theory is easier than a simple act in practice. But whatever the reason, going public with my husband – even in front of our supportive families – is suddenly much tougher than I expected. My throat is a little dry. My stomach is a little unsettled.

My sister e-mailed support: “Don’t worry, it is natural to stress, I practically had a baby the day before mine! 75 to the church, another 75 in the evening, the food, the flowers, the photos, all those people watching me!

“On the day it just felt like a dream, I felt like I was letting out a huge breath all day, like that waiting to exhale, I exhaled all day and it was wonderful.”

Our wedding is much smaller. My old friend and marriage advocate Evan Wolfson reassured me as well: “You’re supposed to be in a zombie state till the beauty of it breaks through.”

Are zombies nervous? They never seem to be. They just stagger forward. Oh, well. Here goes . . .

I, Andrew, take you, Aaron, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I don’t yet know, with respect for your integrity, and faith in your abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part, I accept you as my husband and pledge my love to you.

So revolutionary for some; so simple for me. For the first time in my adult life I will have a home.

And reported even earlier in the Washington Post:

Getting hitched: Conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan and his partner of three years, artist-actor Aaron Tone. The New York Observer set off a blogger guessing game yesterday when it reported that Sullivan is making it legal with an actor appearing in Studio Theatre’s production of “The Pillowman,” whom it erroneously ID’d as simply “Eric.”

No big mystery: Sullivan, 43, and Tone, 31, have been domestic partners in D.C. for two years, and will marry in Provincetown, Mass., this August. The couple originally planned to wed last year until a “book crisis” postponed the event. “There’s no way to pull off a book and a wedding at the same time,” Sullivan told us. No word what role their

beloved dogs Dusty and Eddy will play in the small ceremony, but they’re “definitely” in the wedding party.

And even more, from The N.Y. Observer:

Andrew, did you see David?” said authoress and blogger den mother Arianna Huffington to writer Andrew Sullivan as Hollywood mogul David Geffen approached. The group had coalesced outside the Hilton banquet hall as they attempted an early exit from the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

Yes! We just had sex!” Mr. Sullivan said. “Safe sex!”

That’s right,” the bald billionaire replied with a laugh. “Standing up, because we can.” Then Mr. Geffen turned more serious. “Now what’s this I hear? You’re getting married?” he inquired.

Yes,” said Mr. Sullivan, the wedding would be in late August. “He’s got hair on his back and everything.” Mr. Geffen nodded sagely. “All the things you like in a man,” he said. “Congratulations.”

Later that night, at the Vanity Fair party held at Christopher Hitchens’ house, The Transom pried loose a few wedding details from Mr. Sullivan’s fiancé, Aaron, an actor (last name withheld at Mr. Sullivan’s request): It’s going to be a small affair, mostly family, to take place in Provincetown, Mass.

We haven’t done much yet to prepare,” said Aaron, who is currently starring in the Studio Theatre production of The Pillowman. “We’ve rented the house where we’re going to have it—that’s about it. It’s on the beach.”

Mr. Sullivan was standing nearby, wearing a tux and his trademark Dr. Martens. Would he be allowed to wear those hogs to the wedding? “Absolutely not,” Aaron said.

No, but we don’t need to talk it over,” Aaron said. “He won’t be wearing those.”

Now, all of this Sullivan-Tone matrimonial bliss must be REALLY, REALLY big news, since Matthew Yglesias at The Atlantic just pointed out that Andrew Sullivan has been named as one of the 50 most influential people in Washington, D. C. by GQ Magazine:

“You very recently may have read on the internet that Andrew Sullivan is the 46th most powerful person in Washington, but as best I can tell you need to get your hands on a copy of the print GQ to find the real news of the list — Ross and I are “up and coming” powerful just like the mayor and Susan Rice.

You might be tempted to look at this list and nitpick. Does it really make sense to say that John Podesta is more powerful than Ben Bernanke? Suppose Podesta wanted to cause a global financial meltdown, or plunge the country into recession . . . what he could do about it? Nothing. But then you realize, no, this list must be one hundred percent accurate since it correctly identifies me as one of the centrally important figures of our time.

David Bradley, owner and Supreme Leader of the Atlantic Media Company is also on the list, but since he doesn’t have a blog it’s difficult for him to brag about it in a somewhat ironic and self-effacing manner. Point being: the Atlantic Media Company and its associated blogs are very, very, very powerful or, in some cases, up and coming as powerful. Be afraid.”

Okay, Andrew Sullivan and other Atlantic Magazine bloggers have become big movers-and-shakers in D.C. I just hope that after tomorrow, we don’t have to continue hearing so much of Sullivan’s “marriage blather.”

Writer Andrew Sullivan and Actor Aaron Tone Get Married in Provincetown, Mass.

Writer Andrew Sullivan and Actor Aaron Tone

Andrew Sullivan, the prominent author and conservative gay blogger for The Atlantic Magazine got married Aug. 27 in Provincetown, Mass., to health-club worker and acting student Aaron Tone. “I now understand the meaning of the phrase, ‘the happiest day of your life,'” Sullivan, stated after the ceremony.

Sullivan’s parents came from the United Kingdom for the wedding, along with his brother, sister, brother-in-law, niece and a nephew. Tone’s family, from Plymouth, Michigan, also attended the nuptials.

Aaron Tone, 31, works at Mint Fitness in Washington, D.C., while also studying at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory. He appeared in “The Pillowman” at the Studio Theatre last spring.

After receiving copies of the wedding photos, Sullivan wrote on his blog: “Seeing them again reminds me of the dreamy dusk and night that we chose — a full moon over the water, and family and friends-who-are-family sending the love right back at us. This was not — repeat not — a political event,” he said. “But it took politics to get past politics, and to see this movement we are a part of as a human endeavor to bring love and civility and family into lives that have sometimes been denied all of the above.”

We were denied no love that night, and received so much support and kindness and affirmation that we’re still a little giddy. It was more than I ever expected, in a place I love, with people who love both Aaron and me.”

These Were Sullivan’s Wedding Vows

I, Andrew, take you, Aaron,
to be no other than yourself.
Loving what I know of you,
trusting what I don’t yet know,
with respect for your integrity,
and faith in your abiding love for me,
through all our years,
and in all that life may bring us,
for better or worse,
for richer or poorer,
in sickness and in health,
till death do us part,
I accept you as my husband
and pledge my love to you.

Beyond Marriage in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the only state that has granted access to full marriage to same-sex couples, legalizing it in 2004. Couples from most other states cannot get married there because of a 1913 state law that prohibits people from marrying in Massachusetts “if [the] marriage would be void if contracted in” their home state. However, gay couples from Rhode Island and New Mexico are among those who can marry in Massachusetts, since those states have no laws specifically banning same-sex marriage, even if they don’t offer it themselves.

On Sept. 7, the California Legislature approved, for the second time in three years, a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The vote in the Senate was 22-15 and the vote in the Assembly, in June, was 42-34. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed an identical bill in 2005, saying the matter should be decided by the voters or the courts, not by legislators. Schwarzenegger is expected to veto this year’s bill, too. He has until Oct. 14 to make up his mind, and if he neither signs nor vetoes the bill, it will automatically become law.

In the meantime, the California State Supreme Court is expected to issue a same-sex-marriage ruling in the next few months, in a case that has consolidated several lawsuits. Gay activists who are working most directly on the court challenge see the court’s signals in the case so far as encouraging.

California already has a domestic-partnership law that grants registered same-sex couples all state-level rights and obligations of marriage. However, gay activists say “separate is never equal” and that domestic partnerships and civil unions carry “the stigma of second-class status,” as Human Rights Watch stated in a recent letter to Schwarzenegger.

In addition to Massachusetts, full same-sex marriage has been legalized in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa and Spain. Non-Canadian same-sex couples can get married in 12 of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories in a one-day visit. The process takes longer in Quebec, although there are legal ways to circumvent the province’s waiting period.

Further, a growing number of nations now grant registered same-sex couples some, most or all rights and obligations of marriage under registered-partnership, domestic-partnership or civil-union laws. Those countries include Andorra, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Greenland, a self-governing administrative division of Denmark, also has a civil-union law. In still other nations, such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and the U.S., such rights are granted by city, state or provincial laws. Informal cohabitation of same-sex partners has become legally recognized in Austria, Colombia, Croatia, Hungary, Israel and Portugal, as well as in parts of Australia, Italy and the U.S.

The U.S. states with same-sex civil-union or domestic-partnership laws that extend all or nearly all state-level rights and obligations of marriage include California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire (starting Jan. 1), Oregon (starting Jan. 1, unless opponents succeed in delaying it) and Vermont. Three other U.S. states (Maine, Hawaii and Washington) and the District of Columbia have laws that extend limited spousal rights to same-sex couples.

When you take current national census data and look at where same-sex couples live in the U.S., you find that more than 21 percent of same-sex couples live in states where almost all the state-level rights of marriage are available to them. It’s one in five,” said Jon Davidson, legal director of Lambda Legal. Davidson said that the percentage rises to 35 percent when one adds in the states with civil-union laws that are about to take effect, and states that recognize same-sex marriages entered into elsewhere.

The thing that is most amazing,” Davidson said, “is that seven years ago, none of this existed. The rate of progress that we have made is unprecedented, in the same period that there have been these unprecedented attempts to stop it — the statutes, the constitutional amendments, the lawsuits. The other side is fighting harder, and it seems like we’re losing, but, if you look at this, we’re winning at an incredible pace.”

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Please Share This:

Share

Photo of the Day: Eyebrow. Two Dudes Did WHAT Today? Andrew Sullivan Got Married?

Andrew Sullivan: Here Comes the Bride, er’ the Groom. Whatever.


Soon-to-be Husband Actor Aaron Tone: Acting Asleep


Andrew Sullivan and Aaron Tone

Another gay marriage blob from Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic on Friday, this time about his own:

“Off to the Chapel [tomorrow, August the 27th]. Well, a garden, actually, but the same idea. I’ll be back after Labor Day, and a brief honeymoon…. In the meantime, wish me luck. I’ll see you on the other side of matrimony…. ‘

And a few days ago, in The London Times, a somewhat jittery Andrew Sullivan wrote:

“So this is what it feels like? In a week’s time I’ll be walking down the aisle with my soon-to-be husband. Our families are both coming for the big day. We’re getting hitched in Massachusetts, where I’ve lived every summer for the past decade or so, and which is the only state in America where civil marriage is legal for everyone.

Every now and again I have to pinch myself. This is real? For me? It is hardly possible that it could be real for anyone. But me? After so long?

A brief personal history: in 1989, as a jejune junior editor at The New Republic, I got involved in an editorial argument about proposed domestic or civil partnerships for gay couples. The idea had emerged in the 1980s in several cities, partly because of the trauma of couples torn asunder by hostile relatives in the Aids crisis.

Some social conservatives were understandably worried that by setting up an institution like “domestic partnership”, we were creating “marriage-lite”, an institution that would spread to heterosexual couples and weaken the responsibilities and prestige of marriage itself.

As a gay conservative I found both arguments compelling. I saw the pressing need to give gay couples legal protection, but I could also see the danger that an easy-come-easy-go pseudo-marriage could pose for society as a whole.

The solution, however, seemed blindingly obvious to me.

“Well, why not let gays get married as well?” I asked. “Isn’t that the true conservative position?”

My liberal bosses loved the idea of irritating conservatives with a conservative argument. So I obliged. The cover illustration was the first time that a leading magazine had put two guys on a wedding cake on the cover.

The piece created a mini-sensation. I enjoyed the buzz, but the more I thought about it the more convinced I became that this was not just a necessary change, but also a long overdue one. With straight marriage no longer legally linked to children, and with gays desperately needing integration into their own families and society, it seemed like a no-brainer to me.

It was a philosophical decision for me, not a personal one. I was in my twenties and had no intention myself of getting married. In fact, I was a pretty swinging bachelor. But it was the principle that mattered.

Almost two decades later, after years of intense political debate, after years of personal activism, court cases, congressional testimony, threatened constitutional amendments, civil disobedience and a global revolution in marriage rights, the political has now become personal for me. It’s a week away. And I officially have the jitters.

We decided on the most minimalist wedding possible – basically close family only. (We’ll have a bigger party for friends later.) We’re getting married in the same place – a beach house – where we are having the tiny reception. It’s a block down the beach from where we live.

We have the licence, the judge, the clothes, the menu, the photographer (although he hasn’t been in touch lately – gulp), and the rings. I’ve written out the civil liturgy. We’ve settled on the vows. I should relax now, right?

The other night it hit me for the first time that this is really about to happen. I guess I had just put it out of my head until it was only a matter of a week or so away. My fiance, Aaron, and I have lived together for three years. I have no qualms about our actual relationship. For me, this is for life.

However, standing up in front of my family and my spouse’s and saying the vows out loud has me in a state of butterflies. I can go on television and barely break a sweat, but I’m terrified of performing in front of my own family.

I’m scared that I’ll lose it. I bawled through the last same-sex wedding I went to. When I was diagnosed with HIV 14 years ago, I assumed that this day would never come. And now that it has, the emotional impact is a little hard to measure.

You fight for something, never expecting it to happen, let alone to you, and then it does and it can overwhelm. Taking yes for an answer can be harder than no.

Maybe it’s a function of having overthought this issue for so long; maybe it’s just handling a big family occasion of any sort (Christmas is bad enough). Maybe it’s a lifetime in which my actual relationships have always been private, or so targeted by political enemies that I’ve become very defensive.

Maybe I’m scared that two decades of passionate advocacy in theory is easier than a simple act in practice. But whatever the reason, going public with my husband – even in front of our supportive families – is suddenly much tougher than I expected. My throat is a little dry. My stomach is a little unsettled.

My sister e-mailed support: “Don’t worry, it is natural to stress, I practically had a baby the day before mine! 75 to the church, another 75 in the evening, the food, the flowers, the photos, all those people watching me!

“On the day it just felt like a dream, I felt like I was letting out a huge breath all day, like that waiting to exhale, I exhaled all day and it was wonderful.”

Our wedding is much smaller. My old friend and marriage advocate Evan Wolfson reassured me as well: “You’re supposed to be in a zombie state till the beauty of it breaks through.”

Are zombies nervous? They never seem to be. They just stagger forward. Oh, well. Here goes . . .

I, Andrew, take you, Aaron, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I don’t yet know, with respect for your integrity, and faith in your abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part, I accept you as my husband and pledge my love to you.

So revolutionary for some; so simple for me. For the first time in my adult life I will have a home.

And reported even earlier in the Washington Post:

Getting hitched: Conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan and his partner of three years, artist-actor Aaron Tone. The New York Observer set off a blogger guessing game yesterday when it reported that Sullivan is making it legal with an actor appearing in Studio Theatre’s production of “The Pillowman,” whom it erroneously ID’d as simply “Eric.”

No big mystery: Sullivan, 43, and Tone, 31, have been domestic partners in D.C. for two years, and will marry in Provincetown, Mass., this August. The couple originally planned to wed last year until a “book crisis” postponed the event. “There’s no way to pull off a book and a wedding at the same time,” Sullivan told us. No word what role their beloved dogs Dusty and Eddy will play in the small ceremony, but they’re “definitely” in the wedding party.

And even more, from The N.Y. Observer:

Andrew, did you see David?” said authoress and blogger den mother Arianna Huffington to writer Andrew Sullivan as Hollywood mogul David Geffen approached. The group had coalesced outside the Hilton banquet hall as they attempted an early exit from the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

Yes! We just had sex!” Mr. Sullivan said. “Safe sex!”

That’s right,” the bald billionaire replied with a laugh. “Standing up, because we can.” Then Mr. Geffen turned more serious. “Now what’s this I hear? You’re getting married?” he inquired.

Yes,” said Mr. Sullivan, the wedding would be in late August. “He’s got hair on his back and everything.” Mr. Geffen nodded sagely. “All the things you like in a man,” he said. “Congratulations.”

Later that night, at the Vanity Fair party held at Christopher Hitchens’ house, The Transom pried loose a few wedding details from Mr. Sullivan’s fiancé, Aaron, an actor (last name withheld at Mr. Sullivan’s request): It’s going to be a small affair, mostly family, to take place in Provincetown, Mass.

We haven’t done much yet to prepare,” said Aaron, who is currently starring in the Studio Theatre production of The Pillowman. “We’ve rented the house where we’re going to have it—that’s about it. It’s on the beach.”

Mr. Sullivan was standing nearby, wearing a tux and his trademark Dr. Martens. Would he be allowed to wear those hogs to the wedding? “Absolutely not,” Aaron said.

No, but we don’t need to talk it over,” Aaron said. “He won’t be wearing those.”

Now, all of this Sullivan-Tone matrimonial bliss must be REALLY, REALLY big news, since Matthew Yglesias at The Atlantic just pointed out that Andrew Sullivan has been named as one of the 50 most influential people in Washington, D. C. by GQ Magazine:

“You may have read on the internet that Andrew Sullivan is the 46th most powerful person in Washington, but as best I can tell you need to get your hands on a copy of the print GQ to find the real news of the list — Ross and I are “up and coming” powerful just like the mayor and Susan Rice.

You might be tempted to look at this list and nitpick. Does it really make sense to say that John Podesta is more powerful than Ben Bernanke? Suppose Podesta wanted to cause a global financial meltdown, or plunge the country into recession . . . what he could do about it? Nothing. But then you realize, no, this list must be one hundred percent accurate since it correctly identifies me as one of the centrally important figures of our time.

David Bradley, owner and Supreme Leader of the Atlantic Media Company is also on the list, but since he doesn’t have a blog it’s difficult for him to brag about it in a somewhat ironic and self-effacing manner. Point being: the Atlantic Media Company and its associated blogs are very, very, very powerful or, in some cases, up and coming as powerful. Be afraid.”

Okay, Andrew Sullivan and other Atlantic Magazine bloggers have become big movers-and-shakers in D.C. I just hope that after tomorrow, we don’t have to continue hearing so much of Sullivan’s “marriage blather.”

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Please Share This:

Share

%d bloggers like this: