While in the world's most powerful nation the thoroughly educated Dr. Tom Cruise was busy informing Matt Lauer of the history of psychiatry, high-schoolers were being indoctrinated with a sexual education that includes only abstinence, and President Bush was reminding us for the 9,457th time about some little-publicized event called 9/11, our neighbors to the north were somehow finding their way around fraudulence to authentic concerns. Last week, the House of Commons in Canada voted to adopt legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage. By the time you read this, a Senate vote there will most likely have made it official, and Canada will have become the fourth country in the world to have kept beady-eyed Bible-thumpers from blocking the path to human evolution.
So—should we apologize now for all the dumb Mountie jokes or just beg forgiveness from the provinces with a big party and a hosted bar?
I know Canada has always been ripe for a good punch line. Hell, Canada knows Canada has always been ripe for a good punch line; you don't produce Bryan Adams, or a film industry that once gave its best actress award to the leading lady of Meatballs, without knowing you're going to take it on the jaw once or twice. But this time, my fellow Americans, the laugh is on us—and we look like utter fools. Bryan Adams could wed Corey Hart, should either of them be of that persuasion, and any Canuck in opposition would be free to quietly skip the ceremony and return to that evening's curling broadcast. Our country, meanwhile, would inform Adams that, though "Sunglasses at Night" had its fleeting charms, Hart would have to remain ringless until the president removes his nose from the behinds of Leviticus legislators who think that Will & Grace is the most shocking affront to propriety since Katharine Hepburn insisted on wearing trousers.
What will it take to make conservative hotheads wake up and smell the Obsession for Men? How much sense does it honestly take to see that k.d. lang's bachelorette barbecue has no bearing on the daily routines of those who'd rather attend Clay Aiken concerts or wait for the DVD box set of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman? Believe me, I don't intend to go anywhere near the weeping hordes at Billy Graham's upcoming-and-soon-to-be-unbearable funeral bash. I intend to mock them, sure, but I don't intend to go near them. And that's supposed to be the American way, isn't it? Live and let mock. Just allow me and any future partner our friggin' chicken-or-fish dinner reception and laugh about it on your own time.
I plan to be around when America finally realizes that our resistance to one another's happiness is one grand, sad joke on a nation hoping to hold its head high in the world. In the meantime, however, if any Canadian homo is reading this: I am practically bald, am just about 6 feet tall, have a midsection hinting at a propensity toward beer, and have no shame about admitting that if Jaws 2 were on opposite Ingmar Bergman, I'd never know whether or not Death is a capable chess player. All proposals will be considered.