Welcome to Behind the Lines, a weekly conversation with Salt Lake Tribune cartoonist Pat Bagley and BYU economist Val Lambson.
This week's Behind the Lines guest commentator is Sister Dottie S. Dixon, who is heard regularly on X96s' "The Painful Circle." Selected "Best Utahn" by City Weekly in 2010, her hilarious, sold-out shows explore life as a Mormon mother and her acceptance and celebration of a gay, Mormon son, "Donny." Donny was recently married to his boyfriend in the critically acclaimed "DOTTIE: The Sister Lives On."
Bagley • Obama surprised me. I would never have thought, given this year's electoral calculation, that he would come out and unambiguously back gay marriage. It shows a boldness in the face of Republican pigheadedness that his presidency up until recently has lacked. In any case, I'm sure you and your son Donnie are thrilled.
Sister Dottie • Well Brother Bagley, I can't say I was surprised as much as I was eversa thrilled simply ta pieces. I'll haveta admit when I heard the news on that NRP my heart was justa populatin'! I was on that I-15 construction mess between Spanish Fark and Springville and I started a big old bawlin' jag, then I giggled, then a peed a little with excitement, and finally I just pulled my lime green Escalade over and sent up a grand hosanna and hallelujah prayer a thanks that this big day had finally come. I think Obama done the right thing I really, truly do. Courage AND Consideration if ya ask me. Takes real character ta sa ta hell with polls, I am gonna do the right thing, on my terms, and when I wanna do it. Right now! In this world a beautiful differences where hatin', discriminatin', hell, even just toleratin' people, is sa high, I think this courageous news give alla us who fight the good fight, much needed HOPE. Afterall, it's alla our jobs ta make room fer more love, and Obama set the stage and a new beginnin' fer doin' just that. And don't even git me started on those damned Republicans, expecially them Log Carbonite ones! I mean crimanentlee who in their right mind would be a Republican GBLT, (and that's not Guac/Bacon/Lettuce/Tomato) in THIS day and age when ya have ta line up & kiss upta haters like that Boehner, McConwell, Cheney, Rove, poor old Uncle Orrin, and Gadfreys Mitt Romney? Bleh. Who I ask? Who? Standin' on the Sidea Love is THE way, and standin' on the right side a gay marriage is historicality in the makin' I tell ya. Oh, Oh, Oh, and Donnie, as you know was married ta Joaquin last Summer in New York City! We are havin' a special SECOND Ginko de Mayo celebration this weekend, in honor of this news and their gay marriage! Honestlee just answerin' this has got me sa excited and teed up again, I am gonna haveta take a Xanax befare noon. Not a good thing Pat, not a good thing. Just sayin'. Thank goodness I already have a jumbo Diet DP in my hands ta help me wash it down.
Bagley • I was reminded that Joe Biden wasn't the first vice president to endorse gay marriage. Dick Cheney came out in favor back in 2009. Seems he has a daughter who is lesbian. Knowing someone who is gay appears to be the defining event in bringing us heteros up to speed on the importance of treating all people with dignity and respect regardless of sexual orientation.
Sister Dottie • Well if yer askin' me, I think that Dick's wife, Lynne Cheney, had a helluva lot ta do with mean old Dick Cheney endarsin' gay marriage. As WE women all know, a little cold shoulder and no naughty-naughty fer a spell can go a long, long way in bendin' the stubborn male mind. A little withholdin' can bring a fool ta beggin'! Now, Joe Biden has always had my respect, always, other than the fact he can't seem ta stay awake during Presidential speeches ta patch hell a mile! Mary Cheney is a shinin' example of a good old-fashioned Coors beer drinkin' activist lesbitarian, I'm prouda her, and I'm sure it takes a lot ta be the daughter of one of the sourest pusses on the planet. You are right Pat, about havin' a gay family member, neighbor, co-worker, er ward member. All it takes is ta know one, ta love one! I truly bleeve that the whole comin' out movement has done more ta change the hearts and minds of everyone in this country than any other single thing in
Bagley • I suppose the upcoming Utah Pride Festival (June 1-June 3) can celebrate some major strides in civil rights: first the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," opening the door for gays to serve openly in the military, and now a president of the United States officially supporting gay unions.
Sister Dottie • The Pride Festival is a grand celebration, tis true. Big old party fer everything rainbow and gay! As a former Grand Marshal when I seen the long, long city blocks 10 people deep It warmed my heart till I thought it was gonna explode. Why shouldn't the courageous soldiers who defend us, gay er totherwise be able ta be out and proud? Be their authentical and true selves? Marry the person they love more than anyone in this world inta a committed relationship? That crazypants DADT was the silliest & stupidest legislation, and when President busypants Bill Clinton signed itI damned near threw a fryin' pan at the television. I'm glad it's gone now. Nothin' destroys the human soul (gay er straight) more than fear, guilt, shame, and hidin'! As Obama said yesterday, "there are laws to change, and hearts to open." Them words has always been my marchin' orders! Always will be. Everyone deserves equality and happiness, as defined by THEM, not a buncha cranky, pent-up control freak legislative bullies. Congratulatoriations btw Pat on being named "THE LOCAL HERO" fer this year's Pride Festival 2012. Again when I heard that news tears a joy and thanks were watershed. What's yer favorite cake er pie? I am a fierce baker as you well know!
Note • Sister Dottie is rumored to be the alter ego of playwright and actor Charles Lynn Frost. I only know that I have never seen the two of them in the same place at the same time. PB