The four recent victories for same-sex rights have been a welcome breath of fresh air against the once-unstoppable juggernaut of theocratic fanatics. Once, again thank you Marylanders for Marriage Equality and the stunning turnout of younger voters whose human development will not be banned by law by Marylanders of my generation, the Baby Boomers, who still need to get some clues.
The 1950's are over. They will not come back.
The question now is, obviously since the LGBT community really desrves national protections, and since a president who has grown to believe in these rights is back in office, what do we do? Let me use my penchant for lateral thinking and suggest these possible next steps.
I intend to make these suggestions to my fellow Marylanders since I live here. If Maine and Washington can adapt any of these to their unique environments, Great! The more, the merrier!
It is imperative that we have to wait for two events: the swearing in of the new, more representative Congress, and the conclusion of the battle over the fiscal cliff. The economy doesn't care what anyone's sexual orientation is, we'll all be renacting the Joads of "The Grapes of Wrath" if we as a country don't drag the House of Representatives kicking and screaming to common sense.
What we do have is time to work out what we can do as a state to help our neighboring states get on board. Petitioning and legislative drives are wonderful and will always be necessary. But what I'm thinking of concerns an area of economics...namely tourism. My goal is to aim at my neighboring states of Delaware and Virginia.
Think of this. Now since Maryland's same-sex couples can become really honestly truly engaged, preparations and celebrations of first nupitals will be neccesary.
First off, Maryland will get new revenues from legal marriage license fees.
Great, but surely there is more to marriage than walking in and out of an office.
What about same-sex engagement showers, double bachelor parties, wedding receptions where the two grooms and the two brides can now celebrate their true union with family and friends. Hey Baltimore! Get ready for hiring ballrooms, suites, and clubs your new demographic. I bet the Belvedere in the Mount Vernon area at least is already planning just these occasions. Think of the formal dress shops, the limo services, the bakeries, the wedding caterers, the influx of out-of town guests adding thousands and thousands to your hotels.
Not to mention the honeymoon.
Hey Ocean City! Yes, Ocean City Maryland.
Let's all write to the Ocean City Tourist Bureau and gently encourage them to create same-sex honeymoon packages for our now recognized newlyweds. If Ocean City Maryland could become the same-sex honeymoon capital of the Atlantic seaboard, how would this affect Rehobeth Beach Delaware, or Virginia Beach, or even...Atlantic City New Jersey?
I believe such an economic tourist shift toward Maryland could be a crucial deciding factor for Delaware and New Jersey too. (Virginia, I'm never sure). There's a good chance same-sex legalization bills could pop up in the Delaware and New Jersey state legislators rather quickly. Because now that
" Maryland is For ALL Lovers"
we can prove that celebrating diversity is the true way to achieve economic prosperity. The happier a people are, the more they will want to do for their home state.
(Washington D.C. couples! How about anniversary parties in Maryland?)
Lateral thinking can be hard to explain, but it works? Shall we?