Imagine the following bizarre conversation after a New York City police officer pulled someone over on the way to Newark Airport.
Officer: Is that a 32-ounce soft drink?
Man: Yes, officer.
Officer: Well, I’m going to have to ticket you for that. New York City recently banned consumption of soft drinks larger than 16 ounces.
Man: I’m sorry, officer. I didn’t know about that law. But we’re currently in New Jersey now, and I bought the drink in New Jersey after leaving New York. So I’m confused.
Officer: Doesn’t matter. As part of the law, New York banned anyone from doing business in the city if he or she drinks soft drinks larger than 16 ounces anywhere.
Man: Wow. The city must seriously dislike soft drinks. Okay, but one more question, if you don’t mind. How did you even know to pull me over for the drink after my business trip?
Officer: Well, the city monitors social media, so when you posted a picture of the soft drink, it flagged city officials. In fact, posting the drink is a separate violation of the law, so I’m going to have to ticket you for two violations. Here you go. Have a nice day.
This conversation is too bizarre to be real. In fact, it’s fictional. Unfortunately, for a guy named Steve Tennes, the story is all too real. It just involves a different city and a different topic — the topic of same-sex marriage, a cultural context in which the bizarre becomes reality.