As a staff writer, I’m generally a stranger to the editorial pages of the Vineyard Gazette, but this week the Supreme Court heard two cases that may decide the constitutionality of gay marriage, and as a gay man, I thought I ought to weigh in with a request that’s almost entirely beside the point. As I understand it, neither case before the Supreme Court this week can wind up prohibiting gay marriage in states that have already approved it, no matter how it rules. So the most immediate question, it seems to me, is whether people have the right, based on religious views, to deny services to gay and lesbian couples that show up wanting help with their weddings.

This has been a matter of contention in two states recently, and it’s a subject in which Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, supporting an act that would allow the denial of services on religious grounds, last week instructed Louisiana businesses critical of such laws to “save your breath.”

I guess I’m against such laws myself, for the same reason that lunch counters or bus companies shouldn’t be allowed to segregate patrons based on race, or the armed services to deny people the chance to serve based on gender. But in this debate, I think we’ve overlooked the practical issue of why my gay brothers and sisters would ever want to hire a wedding planner or caterer or photographer or waiter who objected to being there on religious grounds.

(In my case, of course, the question would also be how it was that my theoretical same-sex partner and I managed to find a wedding planner, caterer, photographer or waiter who wasn’t gay himself. But that’s an issue I would probably have to air with a therapist rather than readers of the editorial pages of the Gazette.)

The whole business of asking a guy to marry me, and then going through all the preparations to solemnize and celebrate the thing, would be weighty enough without having to face that moment when we’d look into the camera lens of someone who objects to our minutes-old marriage on ancient Judeo-Christian principles. If you believe that my brand new spouse and I will be consigned to deepest furnaces of hell because of who we are and what we’ve just become, I’d prefer that somebody else drive the limo.

So here’s my request, which does not rise to the level of Supreme Court argument or require me to save my breath in the debate over the Marriage and Conscience Act in Louisiana — but it would be really helpful anyway: If you object to my marriage (or in fact just to me) on religious grounds, do this one extra thing for us both:

Advertise it.

Please put up a sign in your window saying affianced gays and lesbians need not apply. Unless you want to footnote the statement with a few lines from the Old Testament, you needn’t give the reason — we’re gay but we’re not dumb. You probably won’t even inconvenience us that much, since we’d already be living in a neighborhood or a state where the posting of such a sign wouldn’t be any great surprise. We’d know all about you and would be looking elsewhere right from the start.

We would, in effect, be saving our breath.

In those neighborhoods and states, by the way, you’re probably going to do really well. Your co-religionists will walk through the door knowing that they won’t have to confront the moral outrage of Nicholas and Davey trying on matching tuxes, or Sandra and Hermione bickering over whether peaches ever belong in an icing. (They don’t.)

It’s also probably true that most of your fundamentalist customers will in fact be planning their second or even third weddings, since recent polling suggests that 52 per cent of Republicans under 50 now favor the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, and that as many as 60 per cent of evangelicals under 30 do. But of course repeat customers are the best customers. So smart tactics on that score too.

And then there’s this, which may not be relevant to the debate this week, but will be of great importance to your side and mine over the longer term, especially when it comes to commerce, supply and demand, competition and so forth: Post a notice saying you don’t serve gays and lesbians, and not only will my theoretical spouse and I cheerfully steer clear, but so will just about all of my straight friends, whose sons and daughters are just now edging up to marrying age.

I mean, when the time comes to take photographs, most of my pals and their kids will probably ask me and my would-be spouse to be in a few of them, and at that happy moment, it would probably help if the photographer wanted me in the picture too.