Gay Weddings & Wedding Crashers

Public Affairs Consultant specializing in Issue Advocacy and Strategic Communications

In a Forest Gump moment, I happened to be in Mayor Villaraigosa’s office waiting for a meeting with his staff yesterday when I noticed a gaggle of reporters in his press room and champagne glasses near the podium.

As it turned out, I was about to witness the mayor preside over his first same-sex marriage when I was escorted to a conference room for my meeting. Apparently, I missed the rude wedding crasher who calmly stepped up to the podium after the ceremony and announced her opposition to gay marriage and added some inappropriate comments about the mayor.

This self-described “angel of the Trinity” later informed reporters that California would soon be punished for our Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriages through a series of earthquakes and floods. (Thankfully, my homeowners’ insurance covers both).

Unlike some of the “bridezillas” you see on TV these days, this happy couple laughed it off. Good for them in not letting this uninvited guest ruin their wedding day. Like anyone, I am sure that they were annoyed with the intolerant tone of the interruption, but they handled it with class.

And for a lot of voters, I think their decisions on the constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision will come down to which side shows the most class. The same-sex couples we see on TV and read about appear to be your average, everyday couples. For many Californians, they can tolerate a lot not-so-typical behavior as long nobody is getting hurt. The gay weddings look like fun (and I am glad that I have finally been invited to one this summer) with happy people who are marrying for the right reasons.

Which puts the opponents of same-sex marriage in a tough spot. As public opinion shifts in favor of gay marriage, how do they promote their constitutional amendment without coming across as pious jerks who crash weddings and espouse their religious beliefs (which are not always consistent with others’ just as legitimate religious beliefs)?

Now that Sen. McCain has apparently written off California (see today’s speech on energy policy in Santa Barbara), I think that religious conservatives are going to have an increasingly harder time getting same-sex marriage opponents to the polls on Nov. 4 to reverse the court’s ruling. Given the choice between pious wedding crashers and likable same-sex couples, I’ll bet the voters chose likability.

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