In a landmark decision being watched closely by both civil liberties advocates and people who have friends, Colorado Fifth District Judge Stephen T. Rozema yesterday upheld a ban on same-sex friendships in the state of Colorado. The decision, which effectively outlaws “casual, consensual, mutually friendly relationships between two individuals of the same gender,” is expected to have a major impact on the legality of same-sex friendships across the U.S.
The controversial decision is based on the case of Greeley, CO, residents John Rooney and Frank Costanada, two friends who were planning a weekend rock-climbing trip to Yosemite National Park this July. After their travel agent informed local authorities that she suspected they were friends, a local appellate court blocked the trip, deeming it “wholly inappropriate.”
“These two men were in great danger of enjoying each other’s company,” the judge said. “They may have attempted to communicate meaningfully with each other, shared stories and anecdotes, or possibly even engaged in physical contact, such as ‘high-fiving’ after a successful climb.”
“Such behavior,” the judge added, “is an abomination.”
Judge Rozema expounded on the lower court decision, ruling that “these sorts of close, mutually agreeable relations between two men are not what God had in mind when he created Adam and Eve.” He later added, “This is why they weren’t called Adam and Steve.”
While conservatives are applauding the Colorado decision, many believe it does not go far enough. U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) recently called for the ban to extend to same-sex conversations, calling them “unnatural.” Thurmond is also the author of the much-discussed Proposition D, which would outlaw same-sex locker rooms.
“Men should be showering with women, not other men. Though if they do shower together, they should be legally married before God.”
Two states, Missouri and Louisiana, have already made same-sex locker rooms illegal, instituting a mandatory co-ed policy that requires all showerers to be paired up with a partner of the opposite sex and be legally married before entering the bathing area.
Kansas City resident Jennifer Jacobs, 34, was recently wed before showering at her health club with Gene Skellings, a 63-year-old executive from the suburb of Mitchell Park.
“I wanted to work out and then take a shower,” Jacobs said. “But in accordance with the law, I married Mr. Skellings and will serve him as my husband for the rest of my life.”
President Clinton, who, despite supporting same-sex friendships in the 1992 campaign, calling them “valuable and nurturing bonds that fit the definition of acceptable behavior as prescribed by the Lord Christ in Heaven,” was pleased by the judge’s decision.
“I very much support eight-to-ten person same-sex gatherings, such as ladies’ bridge groups or men’s poker nights,” said Clinton, who confessed to playing in a monthly high-stakes poker game with top generals and heads of the military industrial establishment. “Two men alone, though—no way.”
Despite President Clinton’s support, rumors persist that Clinton himself has engaged in a friendship with former U.S. Energy Secretary James McEwen, with whom he has periodically been seen eating lunch. “Mr. McEwen is an associate of mine, and our lunches are strictly strategy sessions,” Clinton said.
Clinton did not deny, however, that when playing golf with McEwen, they sometimes walk ahead of Secret Service agents and are briefly alone, a practice that has prompted many to question Clinton’s suitability as a moral leader.
The Colorado ban is expected to pave the way for other states, many of which have similar legislation pending. Conservatives are working hard to not only ban same-sex friendships on a national basis, but also to outlaw any asexual reproduction in the single-cell invertebrate community.
“These filthy and immoral invertebrates are not acting in accordance with the Bible and, by His holy Word, must be put to death,” Thurmond said.