HARTFORD, CT—The Connecticut Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right of individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, to engage in any number of "grandiose behaviors," including, but not limited to, sashaying across the room "like a hussy, yelling 'Oh my God!' at the top of their lungs while hopping up and down, and generally acting like Miss Thing."
The court ruled 5-2 in favor of the plaintiff in Carmichael v. State of Connecticut, a landmark case overturning a lower court's decision against homosexual Michael Carmichael's right to excessive theatrics. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers argued that "although the loud and emotionally over-the-top behaviors of Mr. Carmichael may be considered annoying by the community standards established by both his heterosexual and homosexual peers, the question of whether or not an individual is acting overly queeny is not a matter for the law to determine."
The ruling, which effectively affirms the right of all attention whores to make a complete spectacle of themselves, is already being contested by conservative groups and is expected to be appealed.
Carmichael, who also goes by the stage name "Lotta Menn," made a tearful, half-hour-long finger-snapping statement to the press following the historic decision.
"This is the most wonderful moment of my life, and I thank you all!" Carmichael said while wearing his trademark purple-sequined jacket, oversize Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, and short shorts. He then blew kisses at the assembled reporters, twirled for photographers, and lifted his arms several times above his head in the late-'80s "raise the roof" triumphant dance move. "I only hope I can recover from the living hell I've gone through these past four months—living hell! I am so serious, you guys!"
Flanked by his lawyers, Carmichael thanked his mother, quoted from Gloria Gaynor's anthem "I Will Survive," insulted several reporters' shoes, and called the members of the Connecticut Supreme Court his "bitches."
The legal battle for gay rights began in 1972, when a Manhattan court granted homosexual couples the right to stand next to each other in public places "as long as they don't make a big deal about it." In 1981, 1983, and 1986, similar rulings in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco granted gays the right to attend movies, take walks, and tickle each other while cooking dinner together. Monday's ruling represents the first time that homosexuals' legal right to openly act "as gay as gay can possibly get" has been affirmed by the courts.
"Carmichael's is an extreme case, but the precedent is far-reaching," legal analyst Jameson Drury said. "This decision protects not only full-blown flamers, but all homosexuals, even those swish enough to let their hands flutter occasionally during a season finale of Project Runway."
Although some acquaintances of Carmichael's, including Matthew "Paris Swillton" Freiberg and Edward "Dame Ed" Anders, have called him shameless and claim the ruling will only make his head even bigger than it already is, others have dismissed these remarks as catty or jealous. Many more have applauded the decision, calling the high court's jurisprudence "way fierce."
"This is a major triumph—not unlike Divine's performance in Pink Flamingos, god bless her soul," said noted gay-culture commentator Mario Loyola. "The white gloves are off, and it's time for Miss Lotta to strut her stuff all the way to Washington if need be."
"After all, it's not like anyone is limiting heterosexuals' rights to, you know, just sit there in beige," he added.
Members of the Christian right, among others, have decried the decision as a dangerous step backward for moral standards in the judicial system.
"American family values are under siege," said T. Herbert Rosch of the American Family Values Coalition, which has protested the ruling. "If gays are granted state approval for prancing, what's next? Gallivanting?"
Civil rights organizations have reluctantly supported the decision, saying that the right of the individual to act like a flaming prima donna, however irritating it may be, is supported by the Constitution.
"Plain and simple, the state cannot decide which bombastic, drama-generating behavior is deemed patently offensive," said the American Civil Liberties Union's Tom Gregor, a member of the legal team who represented Carmichael. "Although, to be honest, I am personally going to think twice before taking on any more pro bono cases for someone as high-maintenance as Mr. Carmichael in the future. Talk about your vampy divas. As happy as we are to have won the case, the afterparty was a nightmare."