Who’s hearing queer wedding bells?

Who’s hearing queer wedding bells? Queer playwright giant Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and domestic partner Mark Harris, a freelance writer, told New York magazine (June 30 2008) that the two are planning to tie the knot in California.

The couple previously held a commitment ceremony in 2003. Now they’re ready for the full legal thing. “Mark and I are going to get married in California very soon,” said Kushner, “Then we’re going to be recognized in New York as legally married.”

An uncharacteristic Kushner was upbeat about the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide, predicting the it will be accepted in other states sooner than we think.

“Like in Massachusettes, Californians will realize that gay people getting married is not a problem for anyone, and then the rest of the country is going to fall in line.”

On a more personal note, Harris explained, “We’re going to go before the county clerk [in California]. But it means that I’ll get health insurance.”

Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told Meet the Press this week that though he personally believes that marriage is between a man and woman, there were more important, pressing issues for the citizens of California and the nation to focus their attention.

Who knows Kushner might be right, after all?

Genre’s 17th annual pride issue (June 2008) was well worth a read this year. I especially liked the magazine’s “salute to the men and women making the most of life, beauty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And, of course, with queer civic pride, I was pleased to find two prominent Philadelphians, University of the Arts’ Camille Paglia and film producer/director (“Monster’s Ball”) Lee Daniels, among the handfuls of the national figures like R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, BRAVO’s Project Runway’s Christian Siriano, and HBO’s “I’m Still Here. . .Damn It’s” Sandra Bernhard, cited by Genre’s editors.

“I’m the guest that won’t go away,” Paglia, the dissident lesbian voice, deconstructionist of everything from classic works of art and literature to pop cultural icons like Madonna and Katherine Hepburn, and author of the ground-breaking, Sexual Personae (Have you read it–yet? Pagalia penned it 18 years ago! It’s really required reading for EVERY queer person in the world.), is still alive and well, and, thank God, opinionated.

“She cautions that media presence is ‘the sympton and not the cause’ of our greater social acceptance. Her prescription: Reconnect with the connoissuership that shaped the ‘gay eye’ of our cultural past, one that saw us provocatively in a world inspired by art teeming with words, colors, melodies, and shapes.” Heady stuff, but that’s why we ADORE Paglia.

Daniels always managed to stand out in a crowd. He was the only person of color on Genre’s impressive list. The out African-American and native son of the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Affection has been terribly busy producing major feature films, “Tennessee,” starring Mariah Carey and “Push” starring Lenny Kravitch. Having already produced and/or directed an impressive but definitely eclectic bunch of films, “Monster’s Ball,” “The Woodsman,” with fellow Philadelphia native son, Kevin Bacon, “Shadowboxer,” starring Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding, Jr., Daniels is an artist, with a queer sensibility, and a genuine relish for the raw, gritty and cutting-edge.

Living and working in New York City interspersed with frequent trips to Philadelphia for family visits, Daniels is one of those anti-Hollywood renegades, choosing his own film projects and controlling his own career and destiny.

Kudos, also to Neal Boulton, Genre’s editor-in-chief, who, in “Men We Love,” gives a nod to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and states, “he has what it takes, gay or straight, to sacrifice for the sake of mankind’s story.” For Cooper fans, there’s a pretty casual, sexy photo of the is-he/isn’t he news anchor without a suit and tie.

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