Progressives do not seem to recognize that in life there is always tension between standards and compassion. Standards, by definition, cannot allow for compassion for every individual. If society were to show compassion to every individual, it would have no standards. Speeding laws are not waived for the unfortunate soul who has to catch an important flight. Orchestral standards are not waived for the musician who has devoted his or her life to studying an instrument, is a wonderful person and needs the job to support a family.
It is either right to maintain the man-woman definition of our most important social institution, or is it not. We cannot base our decision on compassion for gays, whether the gay is our child, our sibling, our friend or anyone else.
Yes, societies have changed qualifications for marriage regarding age and number, but no society before the 21st century ever considered redefining the fundamental nature of marriage by changing the sexes. That is why it is not honest to argue that same-sex marriage is just another redefinition. It is the most radical change to the definition of marriage in the history of civilization.
How then should people of compassion deal with this, or any other, issue? By asking whether we maintain standards or whether we change them because of compassion. Do we change universities’ academic standards out of compassion for blacks and their history of persecution, or do we maintain college admission standards? Do we change military standards in order to enable women to enter fighting units or do we ask only what is the best policy to maintain military excellence?