Promoting Gay Marriage Through Humor

Meet “Devin & Glenn,” whose mundane marriage – and comic YouTube video – may be the best (or worst) argument yet for same-sex wedlock

The video, in a little over three-and-a-half minutes, traces the stages of a relationship from infatuation to wedding night, honeymoon bliss to domestic boredom and disdain, spurring chuckles of recognition along the way.

But it's the tagline that provides the punch line – and the humor-gilded point: “If you disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, support overturning [California's] Prop 8 and make them get married – like the rest of us.”

The short, called "Devin & Glenn," hit YouTube Sunday, and is quickly pulling in views, combining laughs with a mission: to effectively annul the 2008 California referendum passage that banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State.

The video, staring Justin Long (Mac from Apple’s Mac and PC ads) and Mike White (“School of Rock”), follows in the comic footsteps of the hilarious, all-star anti-Prop 8 musical short posted a couple years back on Funny or Die.

The timing, if only by accident, is notable: the new video follows a recent Gallup poll that found Americans' support for the moral acceptability of “gay and lesbian relations” crossed the 50 percent threshold for the first time.

“Devin & Glenn” also arrives amid a seeming flurry of gay-related issues in the popular culture that represent both the increasing acceptance indicated in the survey and the 43 percent of folks who still find homosexual relations “morally wrong.”

Christian Newswire Director Gary McCullough got more attention than he probably deserved last week following his absurd declaration that ratings were down this season for "American Idol" because new judge Ellen DeGeneres is a “lesbian activist.”

He didn't bother to note the success of her talk show, or that "Idol" was hampered by perhaps its weakest talent pool ever. And McCullough certainly didn’t mention that two of the breakout shows of the just-ended TV season, "Glee" and "Modern Family," prominently feature proud gay characters (though he did remind us that “network television is on a pro-homosexuality bender”).

Both of the new shows, meanwhile, have been tied to flaps – but not the kind that might have dogged gay-themed programs in the past.

“Glee" creator Ryan Murphy last month called for a boycott of Newsweek unless there’s an apology for an opinion piece by a gay writer that seemed to suggest homosexual actors shouldn't portray straight characters. (Murphy subsequently spoke to the writer and invited him to the “Glee” set.)

Fans of “Modern Family” started a Facebook page demanding that the gay couple featured on the show, Cam and Mitchell, kiss on camera. The producers blamed the uptight Mitchell, and assured viewers the smooch would come soon enough.
Just when those controversies seemed to dampen down, we’ve got Elton John pulling in a reported $1 million by performing at the fourth marriage of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, a same-sex marriage opponent who espouses strange theories about AIDS. (Any one rushing to judge John should know that the money the rock star makes for private shows generally goes to his AIDS charity.)

John, of course, is in a civil union with his longtime partner David Furnish. It's a good bet their life together is more exciting than that of Devin and Glenn, who find themselves bickering over bathroom and eating habits, dealing with a pushy father-in-law (Tom Arnold) and confronting the realization that the spark of attraction is an increasingly distant memory.

Their lives have become mundane, but their video – and its message – is anything but. Check “Devin & Glenn” out below (warning: there are some NSFW moments):


Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NY City News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.

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