As Mr. Spock would say, “Fascinating.”
After Peter Kirk beamed out of the closet and asked his uncle to marry him and his guy, Captain Kirk stammered but quickly recovered.
“Marry you? We’ll talk about it,” Kirk told his nephew. Then, “I guess congratulations are in order,” the captain added, smiling.
Though the reference will make opponents of equality mad enough to set phasers on kill, they can’t blame “liberal Hollywood elites” this time. The scene comes not from a television episode or feature film, but rather from “Star Trek: New Voyages,” a remarkably good Internet-based series created by Trek fans for fun.
That gays and lesbians should enjoy rights in space before securing them on Earth is not surprising. “Trek” has often grappled with themes ahead of its time, as when Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura shared television’s first interracial kiss in 1968. The Enterprise didn’t explode, and the scene seems unremarkable to viewers today who grew up after such a thing might cause riots or lynchings.
Likewise, when two people who happen to both be men expressed their love and desire to marry, the crew didn’t mutiny or report them for violating the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. No one tried to write discrimination into the Constitution or freaked out about schools brainwashing children.
Not even Kirk, a man’s man who rarely met a space babe he didn’t like (and bed). But he also comes from Iowa, one of the first states to establish marriage equality. So he simply asked Spock, “Was I the only one who didn’t know?” and returned to his galaxy-saving business.
Alas, the marriage was not to be. This Trekker won’t spoil the “Blood and Fire” episode, which can be viewed at www.startreknewvoyages.com. Suffice it to say that a ship of nasty blood-sucking space worms spoiled the nuptials.
But take heart anyway. By the 23rd Century and hopefully sooner, equality will triumph over discrimination. Religion will no longer justify intolerance. And granting respect and dignity to loving same-sex relationships will threaten the most heterosexual man in the universe less than Romulans, Klingons and Tribbles. Ahead at warp speed, Mr. Sulu.
Castro Valley Forum, 2010