Cover Story

A cultural time bomb

Issue: "Year in Review 1999," Jan. 8, 2000

As 1999 drew to a close, the Vermont Supreme Court dropped a cultural bomb that could be to marriage what Roe vs. Wade was to childbirth. The ruling was the equivalent of a shotgun wedding between the state legislature and the gay agenda. Vermont's high court all but ordered the legislature to enact a domestic-partnership law or "some equivalent statutory alternative"-that confers the legal benefits of marriage. Despite the high court's reluctance to do the dirty deed itself-which annoyed the most liberal member of an extremely liberal court-the ruling was still a huge leap forward for the homosexual cause: "A glorious day," proclaimed gay legal activist Evan Wolfson. The state constitution, the unanimous court ruled, requires lawmakers to "extend to same-sex couples the common benefits and protections that flow from marriage under Vermont law." In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court made a similar ruling; Hawaiians responded by voting by a 2-1 margin to change the constitution to outlaw homosexual matrimony. Gotta have Pokémon? Yeah, baby!
Thought the Beanie Babies craze was obnoxious? The age of Pokémon ought to make parents long for the little bean-bag animals, and even long for the long lines at McDonald's to pick up limited-edition Teeny Beanie Babies. As Ty, Inc., makers of the Beanies, prepared to retire all its toys this Christmas, some Pokémon parents were getting violent. One angry customer allegedly assaulted a fast-food clerk at a North Carolina Burger King who failed to produce the advertised Pokémon toy with the kid's meal. For one fast-food aficionado, the problem wasn't Pokémon and Burger King; it was a Taco Bell clerk who dropped the chalupa. Dion Rayford, a 270-pound University of Kansas football player, got stuck while climbing into a Taco Bell drive-thru window to seize the chalupa that was missing from his order.

  • "The Force" returned with Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
  • "La Vida Loca," from the pop single by Ricky Martin that thrilled teenage girls.
  • "Tinky Winky," popularized by liberal press caricatures of an article in a Jerry Falwell publication that reported fascination in the gay subculture with the male Teletubbies character who carries a purse.
  • "Yeah, baby," from the tacky, vulgar film The Spy Who Shagged Me.
  • "Is that your final answer?" from ABC's hit quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

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