“‘Now that we’ve made it here, we’ll make it everywhere,’ said prominent activist Evan Wolfson, who took up the cause of marriage equality as a law student three decades ago…
“The work — as envisioned by leading activists — is a three-pronged strategy unfolding at the state level, in dealings with Congress and the Obama administration, and in the courts where several challenges to the federal ban on gay marriage are pending…
“Brian Brown, president of the conservative National Organization for Marriage, vowed to seek defeat of the New York Republicans who helped the marriage bill pass. He also predicted victory for the amendment to ban gay marriage next year in Minnesota, and said this would belie the claims that the same-sex marriage campaign would inevitably prevail nationwide.
“‘We’ve won every free, fair vote of the people,’ Brown said Saturday. “Backroom deals in Albany are not an indication of what people in this country think about marriage.'”
“‘The more that other states recognize the fairness and the importance of passing equal marriage rights, the more likely it is to pass here,’ said Patrick Wojahn, the chairman of the board of the Equality Maryland Foundation, which fought this year’s marriage battle in Annapolis. ‘It’s a matter of it becoming a normal thing. People see it and realize the sky isn’t about to fall.’…
“‘I think you’re going to see an evolution toward this position on all levels,’ Cuomo said in a possible reference to the White House’s contention that President Barack Obama’s own views on gay marriage — he opposes it but favors civil unions — are evolving. ‘I think you’re going to see an evolution, and I think you’re going to see a rapid evolution.’…
“Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said, ‘Rarely have you seen political advocates pushing for this like they did in New York. To me, what’s amazing is that (defenders of traditional marriage) held out as long as they did. Support for traditional marriage is still extremely strong.’…
“‘I think this increases the pressure on Washington and Republicans in particular to defend the Defense of Marriage Act,’ Perkins said Saturday. ‘Without that, the … states that have taken a stand for (traditional) marriage could potentially have that wiped away.'”
“Obama’s reluctance to come out for gay marriage seems hugely and willfully inconsistent with what we know about his progressive worldview. And it is odd that the first black president is letting Andrew Cuomo, who pushed through a gay-marriage bill in Albany on Friday night, go down in history as the leader on the front lines of the civil rights issue of our time.
“But for the president, ‘the fierce urgency of now’ applies only to getting checks from the gay community, not getting up to speed with all the Americans who think it’s time for gay marriage.
“As with ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’ Obama is not leading the public, he’s following. And worse, the young, hip black president who was swept in on a gust of change, audacity and hope is lagging behind a couple of old, white conservatives — Dick Cheney and Ted Olson.”
“Without even bothering to look it up, I know that some people opposing gay marriage argued at some point that gay marriage in some states would create a chaotic patchwork of inconsistent marriage laws in the several states, and that gay marriage should be resisted on these grounds. Without looking it up, I know that gay marriage proponents cried hogwash to this concern, and claimed that the states should serve as laboratories of democracy (even court-imposed non-democracy) and certainly the idea of ‘uniformity’ was a trivial and silly matter that should not be used as a basis of argumentation.
“However, I know this: Now that a small but nontrivial minority of states have implemented gay marriage, the gay marriage lobby will begin to argue that ‘uniformity of marriage laws’ is a paramount consideration, and that we surely cannot tolerate a chaotic patchwork of differing marriage laws in the several states, and of course that means we must have nationwide all-50-states gay marriage…
“It becomes harder and harder to believe anything gay marriage proponents claim about their future agenda when every past claim about their next moves has been false (and false from the moment of utterance).
“The claim is being made that ‘Of course we will not impose gay marriage on religious institutions.’
“It seems very quick to you folks in the media but for me it’s been a long struggle – and [now] a great sense of elation and joy. I think it’s the right thing to do, the majority of New Yorkers think it’s the right thing to do and it’s about time that we treat gay and lesbian couples the same way we treat everyone else.
“The first time I debated this bill on the floor I pointed out that two drunk people can get on a plane, fly to Las Vegas, stand in front of an Elvis impersonator and they get to have something that I cannot get from my government. This is not about a seat in your synagogue, it’s not about a pew in your church – this is about a document that the state issues to people, and it issues it every day. And many of my straight colleagues in state government have had this license two or three times. It’s about time that I have the right to have it once.”