I am looking at two journal reports from the NY Times that look across two very different plains in gay America.

One is a full-page coverage of a September 2012 gay wedding of two well-off gay men in the prime of their lives and professions.

The other is a recent opinion piece, entitled  ‘Excluded From Inclusion’, by openly gay Times columnist Frank Bruni about the 2012 Republican political convention.

The wedding story is both impressive and touching with its color photo of the grooms in the center surrounded by both sets of senior parents as well as the 12-year-old son of one groom. The stylish wedding, held in a Broadway theatre with the reception at Roseland, hosted 600 guests and was topped with a 6-layer cake. The evening flowed with fine champagne, Prada tuxedos and glitterati from New York and California.

The celebration was more than a ceremony, more than a promise of love. It was  the future of America, of LGBT America as it squirms and wrenches its way (elegantly, in this case) through the resistant crust of old world conservatism into the light of equality, pride and the promises offered in the Constitution 230 years ago. It is the light of reason, science, natural law and the quirky path of love. How can there be any other way to happiness than freedom, authenticity and integrity? (In the same issue of the Times, there were four other same-sex wedding announcements.)

But the Republican’s in Tampa, observed Frank Bruni in his op-ed piece written a week before the wedding, do not see it that way. Their version of happiness is limited choice and lifestyle according to their scripture-based ‘traditions’ handed down for a couple of thousand years that are mostly devoid of reason, science, natural law and natural love. Stashed away in their pre-deterministic brains are unyielding rules and regulations about how modern life and love should be managed, with no allowance for varieties of sexuality in human nature. Life by the ‘Book’ not by ‘what is’.

In Tampa, despite all the colorful and boisterous ballyhoo of inclusivity  heard from the podium NOTHING about gay citizens or equal rights was said or hinted at by the patriotic red-white-and-blue speakers. Bruni wrote, “We’re a part of the <American> conversation. And our exile from it in Tampa contradicted the high-minded ‘we’re one America’ sentiments” resounding in the convention hall.

Believe it or not, as Bruni said, the current Republican candidate once wrote, in 1994, “we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.” Today, nothing close to this from his lips. He advocates a constitutional amendment allowing one man and one woman to marry, and he would wrench civil unions away from civil rights. A deterministic narrow view of life that flies in the face of constitutional freedoms.

This is the past of America, not the future.

Richard Ammon
September 17, 2012