Last week I wrote about the impending arrival of Valentine’s Day. In that post I suggested an alternative to the traditional gifts of flowers and jewelry by providing a link to the Bronx Zoo, where for a measly $10 one can have a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach named after their significant other.

Though I don’t have a special lady friend this year I would like to thank my dear friend Laurie, who in a spirit of kind support has now named one of the Zoo’s 58,000 roaches ‘The Ducat’ in my honor. Nothing says I care about you quite like a prehistoric and ineradicable insect, so Laurie—thanks.

But there’s more exciting romantic news in the air today beyond my insect-identification. In a spirit of Hallmarkian timeliness yesterday Washington State became the 7th state in the union to sign a law permitting gay couples to marry. I’ve written about this subject before on this site, and I’m excited that after years of struggling my non-straight friends can now experience the sufferings and miseries that for generations have been the sole domain of us straights.

So congratulations all you gays, homos, queers, post-sexuals, gynephiliacs, ex-straights, fags, androphiliacs, same-gender-lovings, radical faeries, banjees, homo-thugs, lesbians, or whatever other terms you use to describe the fact that you don’t dig the traditional man-woman thing. You’re that much closer to being treated just like the rest of us, and I’m very happy for you.

For those out there who find this decision a step backwards: I’m tempted to be more snide, but the truth is I’m sorry you feel how you do. This is a pluralistic country and until you can mount a convincing argument that preventing gay marriage isn’t discriminatory, I think you’re on the losing side of the debate.

My only suggestion for your discomfort is this: go make friends with some homosexuals, get to know them as people and not stereotypes, and after some time has passed see how you feel about the issue. Hopefully this little experiment will help you realize that this isn’t about an issue, it’s about people, real ones, and if you can look a new friend in the eye and tell him or her that they should be treated differently… well, then I really feel sorry for you.

And if you’re one of those people who resort to religion to argue your opposition, here’s something any first year seminarian will tell you: theology is always anthropomorphous. Confusing God and Self is an easy mistake, and projecting that confusion outwards can be disastrous. It’s best to think long on the consequences, for if you can make a god that hates gays someone can make a god that hates you.

Until then, I hope we can all look on the bright side: if enough us come around to accepting gay marriage maybe Brad and Angelina will finally get married. And we all know nothing can mend our differences quite like a celebrity wedding.