If Conan was using this to set an example, he should have used another couple entirely.
The first gay marriage of late night TV was held on Conan last night. The intention of those involved, I imagine (and hope), was to help culturally insensitive middle America, and all gay-hating hicks, assimilate to New York's new definition of marriage. I don't, but a lot of people watch Conan. A lot of people who are against marriage equality watch Conan. Done correctly, this televised wedding could've really helped those opposed to marriage equality warm up to the idea. It could have changed some minds. But they went about it all wrong, and I saw nothing but backfire.
Faulkner caught hell because he was against an immediate desegregation of the schools in the south. He thought that the process should be gradual, allowing the southern whites time to get used to it, to make a smoother and less violent transition. The attainment of anybody's rights should not be deferred any longer than necessary, but sometimes people need to be eased into a new idea so that they are not even further, and irretrievably, repelled from it.
The first bad idea of last night was holding anything but a Christian ceremony. They chose to hold a Jewish one. Do you know who right-wing Christian hillbillies hate almost as much as they hate gays? Jews. The answer is Jews. I think the wedding would have been more palatable if it had had a more Christian flair, to show the Christian hillbillies, "Hey, look, they're just like you."
The two who were married seem like a couple of very nice guys, and I wish them all the happiness in the world. But if Conan was using this to set an example, he should have used another couple entirely. He should have found the most conservative-looking, most middle American couple he could find. "OHIO" written across their foreheads in black Sharpie would not have hurt. And the wardrobe. Yikes. Last night, both grooms' tuxedos were purple or pink and black, and one of them had what at first glance looked like the cutout shapes of the Lucky Charms marshmallows. "Wild" and "crazy" and a total stereotype. Again, in order to sway the minds of those against gay marriage, they should have worn outfits more palatable to the conservative God-fearing eye. They should have had two football players up there, with beards, in straight black tuxedos. Hell, even let one of them wear his favorite football team's ballcap. That is what those people understand. Show them two men who look like their sons, or their fathers, and they'll more easily accept the idea and vote for it in their state a lot sooner.
I know that this is coming across as total dickishness and that I should just be all, "Let them wear what they want to wear and who cares if they're Jewish, this is about freedom and blah blah," but in dealing with issues as volatile and important as the one of marriage equality, some tact must be used. The people who are against marriage equality have minds that are either enslaved by the Bible, or their brains didn't properly develop. I really have no idea what's wrong with them. But I do know that you are better off changing their minds about same-sex marriage if you try and ease them into the idea by showing them a wedding that looks closer to home. People fear the unknown. They have to tricked, at least initially.
To top things off, one of the men chose a celebrity to walk him down the aisle. Naturally, he chose Bravo's Andy Cohen. I'm wondering what it would have been like if it had been someone like Terry Bradshaw or Toby Keith instead? Don't you think that would have made a world of difference? I am a gay man, and saying something like this is totally uncharacteristic of me. I am usually all about, "They don't like it? Then show them again." But I think this is a special case, because it is such an important one. You had a chance to show a lot of ignorant people that gays are those who are close to them. They are their friends and their families. Instead you showed a couple of badly dressed, Bravo-loving, stereotypical gays and I don't think it helped the cause one bit.