Illegal in Alabama.
We agree that New York has gotten kind of staid in recent years — hell, 146 people running through Central Park in their underwear? In the old days, that was a slow night in the Ramble!
But it’s good to be reminded that when it comes to sexual and behavioral license, we’re still miles ahead of many other places. Take Ireland, for example. They just passed a law making blasphemy a crime. Blasphemy! In New York, we clear our throats with blasphemy. (To make the comparison more obvious, the normally sober New York Times illustrates this story with a video from The Life of Brian. Even our institutions are blasphemous!)
Though we have been slow in passing gay marriage legislation, that has been mostly due to political corruption, which is a hallmark of a good Sodom. And some other enlightened outland jurisdictions are in danger of rolling back their gay protections. Wisconsin’s modest domestic-partner law, for example, is under assault by people who claim it’s the thin end of the wedge for gay marriage. Fancy trying such a thing here! We’ve had Republican mayors for 16 years running and we’re still gayer than Christmas in Candyland.
Finally, consider the plight of citizens in Alabama, who may, for the time being, purchase wine, but not with a drawing of a nude woman — fin de siecle, no less — on the label. The state’s alcohol regulators have banned California’s Cycles Gladiator from public sale because the girl on its label, based on an 1895 advertising poster, is presented in an “immodest or sensuous manner.”
You left home to get away from this sort of thing. So be of good cheer, fellow citizens, and enjoy the weekend with a nice loft party or something.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 24, 2009