Sunday, May 23, 2010

What Do Marlboro Man And Don Draper Have In Common? Death.

Despite the much anticipated return of smoke-fiends Don Draper, Joan Harris, et al., we can all agree that lighting up in this modern era is simply gross. And for once it appears the government is squarely on our side, as evidenced by its 1999 lawsuit against the tobacco industry. But wait, what’s that? Despite the proven health risks we continue to subsidize tobacco farmers? What sort of two-faced BS is this?!

The United States government has poured a little extra dough to tobacco farmers ever since the Great Depression. People were totally broke and so the government was subsidizing many of the products deemed "necessary." Black Tuesday, the dust bowl, and the deepest depression of the 20th Century - it's enough to make
anyone turn to vices. But it's been 80+ years. We know better, right?
Nope. Just last year over $200 million went from our treasury to tobacco farmers’ coffers. And don’t even get us started on the $96 billion a year smoking drains the United States in direct health care costs, and an additional $97 billion a year in lost productivity. Glad you care about a healthy and productive workforce, America.

We at B4GM couldn't be more pissed our tax dollars are being funneled into the supply chain of an expensive, filthy, and
destructive habit. If only Uncle Sam could put down the death stick and spare a moment of his legislative time to let us get married.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Calorie Nation: How To Induce a Heart Attack

Our great nation was built on freedom and independence. We as citizens have the privilege (and responsibility) of controlling our own lives and choices. Which means that we always have to come up with new and innovative ways to end those lives. Today we're not talking about guns, cigarettes, or semi-legal drugs. We are talking about fat -- lots and lots of fat.

Naturally, the government does not regulate the amount of calories Americans are allowed to consume (that would be as ridiculous as regulating who we're allowed to marry!), but the Food and Drug Administration does post a suggested caloric intake. For men, the FDA advises an average consumption of 2,500 calories, while women should be able to get by with 2,000. Surprisingly, certain restaurants have flown in the face of these recommended standards! Imagine consuming 75% of your daily caloric quota in one, heart-attack-inducing sitting. Now that artery-clogging dream can come true with the help of your friends at IHOP, Burger King, KFC, and Sonic, among others.

Our senses have already been assaulted with the KFC "Double-Down." Consisting of four pieces of bacon, two slices of swiss-cheese slathered in special sauce and flanked by two breasts of world famous fried chicken, the Double Down clocks in at 540 calories. Although the Double Down has been getting a lot of negative press, the Burger King Quad Stacker (bun, burger paddy, bacon, chee, paddy, bacon, chee, paddy, bacon, chee, paddy, bacon, chee, bun) accounts for half a day's caloric intake: 1,000 calories! Sonic is responsible for the Pancake on a Stick, one of which can put you back 400 calories, but the prize, the ultimate chest-clutcher belongs to IHOP. The International House of Pancakes has presented the Pancake-Cheesecake Sandwich, aka the "Pancake Stacker." Imagine a stack of fluffy flap-jacks, each one separated by a dense layer of cheesecake. This shocking amount of carbohydrates easily accounts for half of ones daily intake: 1,250 calories.

How can this possibly seem like a good idea? And why do "restaurants" like KFC and IHOP take such pride in out-doing each other with their wax-paper-wrapped heart attacks? Sure, it's your right to kill yourself one Pancake-Cheesecake Sandwich at a time, but maybe you wouldn't self medicate with food if you could marry the person of your choice.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Feeling Flushed: Public Toilet Regulations

Does our nation's standard of inequality have you running to the restroom to check your smudged guy-liner? Well, hold onto your mascara, Children of Lambert, because with the woeful lack of regulations on public bathrooms in this country you might want to consider waiting. Not only are there generally no restrooms to be had, but those that are available are filthsome at best.

On a scale of one to ten how big of a priority is using the bathroom to you? For us, it's somewhere in between food, shelter and Harry Potter. While the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) requires employers to provide access to clean restrooms to all of their workers, there are no government regulations requiring businesses to supply latrines to their patrons. Similarly disappointing is the lack of any federal requirement for water-closets on state property. So if you plan on leaving the house today, you'd better pack your stadium pal or be prepared to break some public urination laws.

The American Restroom Association (ARA) maintains that the people's bladders deserve a defender. Some ARA research revealed that the inability to access safe/clean/non-rat-infested bathrooms can dramatically affect one's health. For example, it was discovered that people would rather risk dehydration than drink enough water to send them to a municipal toilet in New York City. Additionally, public schools don't answer to the DHHS's standards of restroom facilities. Imagine America's children. Now imagine them without bathrooms. Look again: they are forced to urinate into trashcans, empty bottles, and shrubbery. Now, back to me: these unbelievable circumstances are real -- there are accounts of "bathroom lock-downs" in Minnesota, Florida, and South Carolina, et al.

Wouldn't you agree that access to a restroom is a serious health issue? Especially since we know (some of us all too well) that emergency street-peeing is an imprisonable offense! So why should we be law breakers for answering the call of nature when the lawmakers don't seem to respond to this vital concern. You're telling me that the government can tell me who I can and cannot marry but doesn't have to enforce simple health standards? Guess I'll be crossing my legs for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pen Guns: Does Size Really Matter?

Does the government's prohibition on same-sex unions have you on a vengeful bender? Why not go James Bond on their asses?* That's right, whip out those super stealthy pen guns, cane rifles and flashlight grenades! Even though you can't get gay married, there's nothing stopping you from making an artillery of improvisational weapons.

If you think hidden firearms are just for 007, think again. Since the National Firearms Act of 1934 the government has tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to control "non-sporting" weapons. While the NFA does cover many different kinds of guns, 48 states allow AOW's, or "any other weapons." An AOW is defined as "any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person, from which a shot can be discharged..." Pretty vague, right? Essentially, AOW's are anything and everything that can be rigged, duct-tapped, and jiggered to fire a bullet. In many ways, these weapons are legal by omission -- there's just no way to make a law that covers guns made from . . . well, whatever you want to make them from.

DIY guns might seem bangin', but do you really need a secret cell-phone gun? Those babies have terrible service coverage and are totally inaccurate. A lot of these weapons have super short barrels, which makes them only good for shooting things that are slightly larger than barn doors. Of course, one might argue that this actually makes them more dangerous, but hey, it's a free country. (Also, if you are questioning how fatal these weapons can be, consider this.)

So go ahead, call up Q and have him make you a combination crazy-straw/assault rifle, I hear they're efficient and festive! But, if you're allowed to make a gun out of a PVC pipe and two soda cans then why on earth can't I get gay married?

*We aren't actually condoning violence. We happen to be conscientious objectors (re:Quakers).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Marriage Quota: X Time's the Charm!

People say that your wedding day is that happiest day of your life (not that we would know. . .). But why limit yourself to only one memorable experience? Date, marry, divorce, rinse and repeat, right? Conveniently, neither the state or federal governments have any restriction on the number of times a (straight) person can get divorced/remarried.

Now, we at B4GayMarriage are a "live and let live" bunch. If you'd like to get married a couple (dozen) times, who are we to say boo on that? But we can't help noticing that there doesn't seem to be a quota on the number of times one can get hetero-married. Everyone's got an uncle or cousin who has been hitched 2, 3 or 10 times. However, the Grand Poobah of Knot Tying is Glynn Wolfe, a California minister who has said "I do" 29 times.

Twenty-nine marriages in 89 years of life. That's pretty prolific. I mean, this guy puts Henry VIII to shame. Most of the unions seem to have lasted less than a few months, with the spectrum ranging from nineteen days to 11 years. When Wolfe died in 1997, his only son reported that Wolfe detested "living in sin" and so he would marry every chance he got (translation: let's hump on God's time). Most of his marriages ended in divorce, including the expulsion of one wife over her habit of eating sunflower seeds in bed. I guess that's better than beheading. Nice to know that the State sanctions even these trivial dismissals of marital bonds.

By the end of his life, it became clear that Wolfe was not looking for that one perfect soul mate. Instead, his 29th marriage was merely for publicity - by exchanging vows he got his matrimony-lovin' mug in the Guinness Book of World Records. Good to know that straight couples have the option of marrying (innumerable times) for sport. We just want to do it once, and we want it to last forever.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Roller Coaster . . . Of Love (Whoo, whoo, whoo!)

Has the government's regulation on gay marriage got you spinning? Does it feel like you're climbing ever higher toward some gut-scrambling nose-dive? It probably does, but just to be sure - are you presently riding on a roller coaster? If your answer to our previous query is yes, get the hell off.

Some might say that by strapping into that rickety ol' cart on Death Mountain you are taking responsibility for your own actions. I mean, there is truth in branding. But would you feel better or worse knowing that there are no universal safety standards for amusement parks? What about the fact that there is a federal ban prohibiting ride experts from investigating amusement park accidents . . . including the incident of fatality?

Unlike other areas where government agencies regulate public health and safety, there is no organization that promulgates policies to control these popular thrills. That leaves local governments responsible for planning their own ordinances. Unfortunately, 21 of our 50 states don't have any programs overseeing their amusement parks. And isn't it ironic (don't you think?) that the Mickey Mouse state has the loosest regulations? Or is it just convenient that the state with the biggest and most famous theme park has some of the most lenient restrictions, allowing these attractions to function without federal oversight? Perhaps we should stop being so cynical and simply say: Congratulations Florida, you're #1!

So, next time you're down at Disney World for their annual homo-fest, remember that although Florida won't let you get gay-married, you're still encouraged to have a Fantasmic Cinderellabration!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Something In The Water: Packaged Ice

Feeling a little down as a result of the state's involvement in your love life? Chewing on ice as a way to alleviate your sexual frustration? Well, stop! That crap is poisonous! Do you even know what's in packaged ice? Unfortunately, we just found out.

People often worry about rancid food or contaminated beverages, but what about the other things we consume? If bad food and drink can make you sick, can't bad ice as well? The Food and Drug Administration doesn't seem to think so. Despite the fact that studies show that packaged and manufactured ice chips are about as clean as toilet water, the FDA does not regulate packaged ice producers or the ice made at food retailers. That's right, the ice in your Big Gulp has never been inspected and is not held to any standard.

So what, it's just a little bit of ice, right? That's not how the Beeman family of Phoenix, Arizona feel. In 2002 their son died after drinking beverages chilled in a public cooler. The cause was filthy ice, which infected him and 80 other youngsters. Noroviruses, like the one that killed Scott Beeman, are rarely fatal, but they can (and should) be easily avoided. Maybe this wouldn't happen if the FDA had a standard for the production and handling of ice? No, that's too much to ask.

If the United States government is so worried about the health and well-being of its citizenship then why allow contaminated ice on the market? It's almost as though they are too busy regulating our private lives to notice that some of these companies are getting away with murder. Does it sound like we are suggesting that there's a discrepancy between how corporations and citizens are expected to operate? Because we totally are.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Overcrowded Prisons: Welcome To The Neighborhood

Who do these Gays think they are, acting like they should be treated like everyone else? So what if they are tax-paying, law-abiding citizens? How dare they follow their natural instinct to pursue happiness! You know who really got the short end of the stick? Criminals. You're probably going to say that these people have broken the law and have maybe even harmed others. Well, if that's what you have to say then California thinks you're dumb.

Prisons are overflowing with, um, prisoners. This isn't like arriving at Bryn Mawr College to realize you will have three roommates stuffed into the average double dorm. We are talking about hundreds of people-- disorganized, shuffled, and forced into spaces that aren't safe or efficient. Local and federal governments have run out of places to put the newly-convicted, and so many are implementing early release programs to give these pillars of society just a little more elbow room.

Early release? Of ex-cons? Into my neighborhood? Without so much as an ankle monitor? Don't worry! State governments only authorize the early release of low-risk criminals, like drug dealers and child molesters - no big deal. Have you read the news lately? A young woman's remains were found in San Diego, California after she was kidnapped, raped and killed by, you guessed it, an early release prisoner. But many state officials insist that the only way inmates will receive fair treatment and adequate medical attention is if prison numbers are kept down through these release programs. That's curious, because there are other populations of Americans that receive neither of those things . . .

Can anyone make sense of this? Here is the message we are getting: California is willing to let dangerous criminals walk free, but tax-paying citizens (who happen to be gay) are the ones punished with forced singularity, which happens to be a life sentence. Is that it in a nutshell? Okay, thanks.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Faux Weed: Innocent Marijuana Is Spared As Fake Pot Stones The Nation

One might argue that if a committed relationship looks like a marriage, smells like a marriage, acts like a marriage and desperately wants to be a marriage - then it should be considered a marriage. Right? Similarly, if what you're smoking looks like pot, smells like pot, acts like pot and is being used as a pot equivalent - then it should be considered pot. Right? Shouldn't these real experiences be treated the same as their hetero-normative/cannabis-derived doppelgangers? Time for the classic B4GayMarriage punchline: NOPE.

K2, or "spice" as it is sometimes called, has the drug nation in a tizzy. The magic of this legal substitute comes from just the right mix of herbs, spices, with a hint of a synthetic psycotrope sprinkled on top. This mixture has similar effects as traditional weed: the feeling of being high and mad munchies, with the added bonus of hallucinations.

Interestingly, there have yet to be any state or federal bans on this product. The lack of regulation is particularly striking because (in addition to its desired traits) this fake chronic can cause intense agitation, seizures, extremely high blood-pressure, and other adverse effects to the cardiovascular and nervous systems that have required hospitalization. Some mid-western states like Kansas and Missouri have tried to introduce legislation to regulate faux weed, but so far these governments seem slow and unmotivated.

The K2 drug is still new and not completely understood. Toxicologists and chemists at three universities are working hard to study the dope-esque product, as well as the myriad of emergency room cases that have resulted from its use. In similar news, scientists have yet to replicate bliss, which 30 million Americans are currently being denied on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Puppy Mills: Get the Most Bang for Your Bark

After a long, internet-less period of darkness we are BACK! Thank you for your patience, your smoke-signals of encouragement, and your support!

Many states have recently taken steps to limit the potential for same sex couples to create families. And with good reason-- everyone knows that the only way to stop homosexuality from spreading is to prevent gays from marrying or adopting children. But fear not, Squirrel Friends, for if you happen to live in a state that prohibits gay couples from adopting (Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, et al) there are plenty of other opportunities for you. May we recommend the high-price, low-quality option of adopting a Puppy Mill pet?

This is likely preaching to the choir (gay are notorious for rescuing their pets), as you must know that Puppy Mills are brutal at best, often with hundreds of animals living in filthsome and horrific captivity. We don't need to tell you that these poor creatures -- kept alive solely for the purpose of breeding -- are stacked in cages like legos, inadequately fed, ineffectually housed and unloved. Didn't these Puppy Mill proprietors ever suffer the 10th-grade reading requirement that was Brave New World? How crazy and dystopian can you get!?

Do the cute, cuddly ends justify the inhumane, abusive means? The United States government seems to think so. Currently, there are no federal laws to regulate the number of dogs that can be kept at breeding locations. Only four states (Virginia, Oregon, Louisiana, and Washington) have strict limits on the quantity of animals per facility. Conversely, 17 states have no licensing standards whatsoever, a veritable Puppy Mill free-for-all. While there are cruelty laws that should, by definition, keep these creatures safe and healthy, the enforcement of such regulations is laughably slack.

You've got to wonder why there are so many laws that protect our ability to treat other people and creatures in such terrible and unjust ways. And to think, we've been looking for a law that allows us to celebrate and recognize our love and commitment. . .

Monday, February 22, 2010

Before Gay Marriage: A Family Tree Edition

Written by guest-contributor, gang member, and Ani DiFranco expert-in-residence, Ms. B.K. Cardigan.

There is a danger looming over us all. It is a movement powered by an all encompassing agenda, bent on the destruction of our entire way of life. It is the movement.... for cousin marriage. Across our great nation, people are "coming out" of the family closet and declaring their eternal, romantic love for their first cousins. They are demanding the right to marry, the right to access this sacred institution we as good Americans cherish. But they won't stop at marrying each other. Soon, they'll be teaching the concept of "kissing cousins" in schools. And once they've reached a critical mass, the door will open to other attacks on marriage. Before we know it, people will be marrying their siblings, uncles, and grandmas. That's only a hop, skip, and jump away from people marrying their dogs. Their dogs will want to marry their cats, and --

Oh, wait, cousin marriage is legal in 26 states. That's right, all you have to do is reside in any one of more than half of our United States and you are legally permitted to marry your first cousin. What unwholesome, backwards states they must be! We are talking about places like Connecticut, New Mexico, and Florida. Is nothing sacred? Clearly, the answer is no.

But has any of this led to an apocalypse? Also a clear answer. Protecting the freedom of people to marry those they fall in love with doesn't actually have a measurable effect on anyone-- other than for the people involved. I wish someone would tell California, Maine and New Jersey that. I guess they're too busy marrying their cousins to listen.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pharmaceuticals: Not Your Mamma's Side Effects

For generations psychologists believed that homosexuality was a treatable, medical condition. Just flip an electrified switch or pop a pill and presto-change-o, you're straight! Think of the crazy side effects a magic straight pill might provide. After taking the pill do you wake up surrounded by half-eaten cheeseburgers, power tools, and the remnants from an obvious late-night run to the casino? What's that you say? Those are actual side effects brought on by existing FDA regulated pharmaceuticals?! Of course they are.

Today, when Americans seek pharmaceutical help to quit smoking, lower their cholesterol, cure their tingling legs, or lengthen their eyelashes (?!) they have a boat-load of side effects with which to deal. Some are mild and common, like slight nausea or drowsiness. But what about Chantix, the drug that eases nicotine addiction? Apparently, it also produces hallucinations and night terrors! Alli, the weight loss drug, forces its users to bring an extra set of pants wherever they go, because it's a lock that you are going to crap yourself. Other drugs hold the promise of amnesia, sensory taste loss, rainbow urination, compulsive gambling, intense sexual urges, suspicion of others, suicidal thoughts, and death. Is your restless leg syndrome worth death? The FDA must think so. . .

What is the threshold for the severity of these side effects? Sure, the consumer has some responsibility, but what will it take for the FDA to properly test and regulate the drugs they release to the market? In the mean time --since we can't get gay married-- anyone want to experiment with that colorful pee thing?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Advanced Drinking: Super-Booze and You

Feeling depressed that you and the (same-sex) love of your life can’t get hitched? Too cheap for Xanax? Well, there’s always alcohol. Plentiful, potent, legal, alcohol. And don’t waste your money on the fancy stuff, my friends! That’s not for drowning sorrows. Instead, we recommend grade-F rat hooch, the stuff of brown bags, the stuff of wacked-out dreams.

But be advised, there are states in our union that do not want you to consume to your heart’s content. Some wussy states don’t even allow the sale of 151-proof. That’s why all freedom-loving boozehounds should pack their bags for Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina and Montana where you can purchase 190 proof alcohol without teetotalling legislators crawling up your backside. Plus, when you are not putting back H2Whoa, you can use your grain alcohol as stove fuel, house cleaning solvent, or antiseptic for wounds (and depending on the previous night, all might be very necessary).

Right about now you are asking – what’s the big deal? A hangover isn’t such a terrible thing, I mean, they made a movie about it. WRONG. (Well, technically, yes they did make a movie called “The Hangover,” but wrong that it’s not a big deal – read on and we’ll explain…) Alcohol poisoning kills hundreds of people every year. Death becomes a potential “side effect” once your blood alcohol concentration reaches above .30 %. How many shots of 190 proof would it take before you are high-five-ing the Grim Reeper? Well, that is a delicate calculation of height, weight, food, time, and the movement of the western wind, but the short answer is probably around six servings for the average individual.

Ever wonder why you and your beloved can’t file your taxes jointly but you can self-medicate with grain alcohol? Why you can literally kill yourself with booze but you can’t say “I do”? Well, we haven’t figured it out either.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Helmet Laws: Optional Rules of the Road

With the recent rulings against marriage equality, it could be time to hit the road and do some soul searching. Hop on that Harley and make for the hills. Don't you love how the wind feels as it whips through your long, salt-and-pepper mullet? Do you love that more or less than a face full of gravel? Well, with the relaxed helmet laws in 25 states you can have your cake and eat it, too.

When ripping along at 75 miles per hour it seems like a good idea to put something between your soft skull and the hard pavement. However, Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire have no laws concerning the use of a helmet or protective gear while operating a motocycle, moped, or bicycle. Twenty-two other states have suggested regulations, but only for citizens under the age of 18. Which makes perfect sense, given the thickening of the skull that occurs during the formidable high school years.

Do you think helmet-related motorcycle accidents occur everyday? Of course they do, silly! So, you've got to wonder what the 25 states in our union without helmet laws are playing at. Perhaps the most curious is the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where helmet laws were actually reversed following the near-fatal bike accident of their beloved, fugly hero, Ben Rothlesaklsjgnaald-name-guy. It's almost like they learned nothing from his head-first collision with the Earth.

So, if you're ever feeling constricted by the laws trying to box you into a hetero-sexist union, just recreate your favorite Road Warrior scene on the back of the biggest, loudest hog you can find. But if you're planning on getting on behind Mel Gibson, make sure that's not short for Melanie, because gay marriage still isn't legal.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hazing: Please, Sir, May I Have Another

Why shouldn't we allow same-sex couples to get married? Simple, because we've never allowed them to get married before. Everyone knows that change is scary and wrong and dangerous. That's why people shouldn't try to mess with time-honored and sacred traditions . . . like hazing.

For generations, impressionable young men have been meeting in darkened, candlelit rooms, peeling off layers of clothing, and committing unspeakable acts (sound homoerotic to anyone else?). Today, 44 states find hazing to be "inhumane" and even "torturous." In those jurisdictions, hazing will cost you as little as $10 or as much as serious time behind bars. However, six freedom-loving states --Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming-- have no regulations whatsoever on this time-honored practice.

And why should they? Nothing is more macho, more American, than hazing. These rituals used to occur without the burden of pansy regulations. Some of our nation's oldest and most prestigious universities seasoned many a powerful and influential public figure by the paddle as much as by the book. However, some states just don't appreciate that. Maybe those states don't realize what a critical and irreplaceable part hazing plays in the life of a young co-ed. Maybe they don't understand that engaging in an elephant walk or receiving a golden shower is a right of passage that turns boys into men, and those men into the leaders of tomorrow.

Just because something is violent and demeaning doesn't mean it should be illegal. History is a better judge of right and wrong than the social mores of the time. I mean, the rights, freedoms and liberties of 1776 were good enough for the Founding Fathers, and it's not like we've ever updated or amended those . . .

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Deadbeat Dads: Parenting From Beyond The Grave

One of the most prominent arguments made by opponents of gay marriage is the issue of parenting. They say a baby needs a Mommy and a Daddy, so even if you have two spectacular specimens of one, the child will likely turn out to be a mass-murderer, a Wall Street schemer, or at least a serial bed-wetter. But what about the children of brave single parents? What if a wife leaves her husband and child? Or what if a husband dies, forcing his wife to harvest his dead body for sperm (without his or anyone else's consent) to produce the child she always wanted? What then, America?

Well, legally, that is an option. Around the world, postmortem sperm procurement has raised a number of legal and ethical eyebrows. In Germany, France, Australia and Canada this sort of "retrieval" is banned out-right. In England, specific written permission is required for artificial insemination to occur after the father has "passed on." But here in the U.S. there is no standard protocol for this procedure. No written consent? No will? No problem!

If the American people care so deeply that a child have both a mother and father, then why do we permit the farming of a beloved's cadaver to create the spawn he never wanted? This exact scenario recently happened. A 42-year old woman from England won a court case that allowed her to keep the organic specimen she ordered doctors to extract from her dead hubby. The woman then traveled to the United States, where there were no state or federal laws restricting her insemination choices to the consensual and/or living.

If being the baby-mama to some zombie-halfsie isn't natural, then I don't know what is. So let's raise a glass to all the breeders out there. At least someone's happiness is being recognized and protected...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Death Row Marriages: Consecutive Wife Sentences

Ahh, those somber and profound wedding vows, they tug at the heartstrings every time. Is there really anything more moving than watching two people commit to each other, “till death do us part”? Particularly if one of those people has that very event scheduled in advance as a sentence for hideous crimes like serial murder, rape, child-molestation, and/or terrorism. That’s right, the government may not condone the crimes you’ve been convicted of, but you can still plan that special day and have your marriage recognized at the local and federal level in states such as Florida, Texas, North Carolina and California.

Now, some of these jurisdictions limit contact, with Texas actually forbidding any touching at all-- a proxy is called in during the vows. These two people will never live together, produce children, or even (in some states) be left unsupervised for a moment. Yet despite the restrictions on behavior and personal liberty imposed as part of a stint on Death Row, these citizen-felons still retain the civil right of marriage! Call the caterer, pick out a dress and book the prison chapel; the list of honeymoon destinations might be a little limited, but I hear the lighting in Supervised Visitation can really set the mood.

So even if you’ve got a date with a hypodermic syringe, don’t let that get in the way of planning a white wedding! Despite what you may have been convicted of, despite the life, liberty and happiness you’ve taken away from others, rest easy in your bunk knowing that you still might find that special someone.

Just try not to fall for your cellmate, because even if you are getting married in prison, it still can't be to a person of the same sex.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tanned Hides: Bronze is the New Dead

The Twilight Saga seemed to signal the death of "tan." With Robert Pattinson's paper-white vampire skin making all the tweens swoon, pale and transparent was the new vogue. (For the record, B4GayMarriage does not wish to register an opinion in the Team Edward/Team Jacob debate. We prefer Harry.) All we can say is, thank jeebus for MTV's Jersey Shore. Snooki and the gang have made bronze (and boozey) glamorous again. Tan is back on top! Unless you count the fact that recent studies have shown tanning beds to be as deadly as arsenic or mustard gas.

Who would have guessed? Lying eye-balls down in a public coffin of ultra-violet light is not just unsanitary, it makes you 75% more likely to get cancer. Twenty different tests have all demonstrated conclusively that the radiation used in tanning beds is carcinogenic, and therefore lethal. You might be wondering, why didn't we do these tests before providing tanning bed technology to the market? Are our government's health regulations so relaxed that they can release potentially dangerous materials to consumers without taking the proper precautions? Absolutely.

It's not like they could have known about the long-term effects of direct ultra-violet radiation for the millions of people that use tanning beds every year. If only there was some way of knowing. Like, comparing the impact of other radiations on the human body and seeing if they had any negative outcomes. Hmm, maybe the sun's radiation seemed too obvious. . . Anyway, that didn't stop the Food and Drug Administration from giving the thumbs up to tanning companies across the nation. After all, they aren't responsible for regulating the research that-- oh, crap. Yes they are.

This is America after all, and if you're not free to tan, you're not free to do anything. Well, there are some things you aren't free to do. . . like marry your same-sex partner. That seems to be out of the question.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bear Wrestling: Claws, Paws, and Jaws

Gays are always up on the latest trends. Whether it is fashion, music, food, architecture, art, humor, politics, or health, we set the standard, and American culture usually follows (Gaga, anyone?). So, when the newest fad in physical fitness hit the airwaves, we were pretty surprised we hadn't thought of it first. Oh, wait, it's Bear Wrestling? No, we don't want to do that-- we'll leave that to the drunken fraternity brothers.

A pre-historic venture, humans have been engaging in bear wrestling for generations, although at that time it may have been more for survival than for entertainment. The first evidence of bear fighting as spectacle dates from the late 19th century, when traveling circuses began to exhibit man versus animal shows. Visitors were often invited into the ring with the promise of cash prizes for anyone who could take down the bear. Apparently, that sort of activity is still happening today. Imagine entering your favorite local bar, or strip club, or high school. Now factor in a 900-pound black bear named Caesar. For $10 you can go toe to toe against Caesar, with two possible outcomes: one, you could win $1,000, or two, Caesar will pierce and spill your organs. Also, there's usually lots of alcohol. This very scenario took place recently in Columbus, Ohio.

Today, the legal aspects of bear wrestling are decided on a local level. Several states have outright bans on fighting with grizzlies, like Louisiana and Alabama. Elsewhere, Ohio and Pennsylvania for example, bear wrestling extravaganzas still take place annually. So, if you find, as we have, that your favorite Results Gym is closing, just cross the boarder to a bear wrestling-friendly location and get ready to work out those glamour muscles. You might not be able to get engaged to the love of your life, but you can engage a bear in a neck-lock anytime.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ripped From the Headlines: Closeted Chemicals!!

You thought you knew the Environmental Protection Agency pretty well. You'd been friends for years; shared some good memories together, laughed, cried.... But the EPA has a secret it's been too afraid to tell you - until now. It's what you've always suspected, but could never prove, the EPA is coming out of its chemical closet.

In this B4GayMarriage "ripped from the headlines" special, we are highlighting an issue that has recently come to our attention. Apparently, the EPA has knowingly permitted the poisoning of Americans for decades. In 1976, the government struck a deal with manufacturers: all the chemicals used in commercial products, from household cleaning solvents to popular cosmetics, must be disclosed to the EPA - with the caveat that those chemicals and their scientific formulas remain hidden from the public.

Thankfully, what people don't know can't hurt them. Oh, nevermind. Numerous deaths a year have been attributed to poisoning, caused by unknown chemicals with secret, government-protected recipes. But what about Coca-Cola's special ingredient?! Or the Colonel's secret chicken recipe of 500 herbs and spices?! If the Toxic Substances Control Act is overturned then these companies (and others) would have to go public with their highly confidential chemicals. What an inconvenience. It's only our health.

For the last 34 years the government has closeted this important information, often at the cost of our health and security. The EPA needs to stop living a lie, protecting large companies, and shielding them from the consumer to ensure their financial success. To the EPA - be out, be proud, and tell us what is in our friggin' shampoo. And finally, if you're going to legally poison us, at least allow us to get gay married.