Tuesday, April 27, 2004
(Dog Breath, Idaho) - Clem Clifford is a rough cattle rancher in some rough country, and he really enjoys the harsh life in this desolate, wind swept corner of Idaho. He was happily married - to a woman - for fifteen years. Clem and his wife Clarabelle had a perfectly normal heterosexual relationship that produced five chubby, beef-eating children.
But then, the specter of gay marriage wrecked their relationship and all their plans.
Neither Clem nor Clarabelle had ever experienced homosexual feelings before. But the wave of homosexual marriages across the nation has presented the gay lifestyle as an acceptable alternative to straight marriage. And many formerly happy and content straight couples are splitting up to explore the advantages of having a partner of the same sex.
"I never wanted to be no homo. And I never knew no homos," Clem said. "But nowadays, it seems to be okay. And it got me to thinking ..."
What got Clem to thinking was the minor annoyances about living with a woman - his wife. "She always wants the place to be clean and she always wants me to put on a clean shirt, even if it's just gonna get dirty again."
Clem began to think that a major re-adjustment in sexuality would be a small price to pay if his life partner was - a man!
"I could see some advantages," Clem said. "I wouldn't have to worry about whether or not I left the toilet seat up."
Clarabelle expressed similar sentiments. "I realized that if I married a woman, I could buy all the shoes I wanted. My wife wouldn't get mad, she'd help me!"
Even in rural areas, far from the controversy and the tumult of gay marriage in Hawaii and San Francisco, millions of Americans are abandoning their longtime heterosexual unions for the advantages of gay marriage.
Kyle Smirkee, of Wolf Teat, Wyoming, left his wife of 12 years so he could move in with his best friend, Bubba Burpo. "We watch sports all weekend and our wives don't give us crap about it no more. Switching to homo-type sex was a little weird at first, but I got used to it. And it was worth it!"
"My husband always used to get mad when I tried to work on the car or make home improvements," said Nora Munch, of Puke Creek, Iowa. "But since I left him and married my manicurist, I got my own set of tools and a tool belt."
"I also like the way I can dress the way I want to now," Clem said as he showed off his new socks, light green with little brown puppies. "I was always afraid my friends would say I was gay if I wore stuff like that. But now it don't matter 'cause I am gay. And all my friends are gay too."