For gay-marriage opponents, it’s been an occasionally daunting period as they watch a steady stream of prominent politicians and institutions join the rival side…
“There’s too many of them to effectively boycott,” he said in a telephone interview.
Wildmon expects the U.S. to remain divided over gay marriage for a long time and hopes neither Congress nor the courts try to interfere with the right of states to set their own policies.
“That’s just the way it’s going to be,” he said. “If you want to be a homosexual married couple, move to a state that accepts it.”
After the sudden flip of several Senate Democrats from opposition to endorsement of gay marriage this week, the stampede may have come to an end, leaving a handful of holdouts in states where opinion still lags the national trend. Now that Sens. Kay Hagan (N.C.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.), and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) have switched, just nine Senate Democrats remain in opposition, a core group that includes some of the party’s most socially conservative members: Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Bill Nelson (Fl.), Tom Carper (Del.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.).
Showing no sign of concern about shifting national opinion in his culturally conservative state, Manchin told TIME through a spokesman: “I believe that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman.” “My beliefs are guided by my faith, and I support the Defense of Marriage Act,” he added. DOMA, passed in 1996, prohibits same-sex couples from receiving the federal benefits that married couples earn.
Pryor, Johnson, Heitkamp, and Landrieu had nothing to add to their existing opposition to same sex marriage. Pryor’s office told TIME that his position hasn’t changed, either.
For the staunchest opponents of gay marriage, a grievous setback at the bench might only spur more intense efforts to enact measures like the Federal Marriage Amendment proposed by George W. Bush, banning gay unions through the Constitution.
That proposal would still draw strong backing from parts of the GOP — particularly primary-voting evangelicals — even as fewer voters support it overall.
A ruling that ordains gay marriage from the Supreme Court, conservative strategist Patrick Hynes said, could “guarantee a permanent fissure in American public life such as we have experienced as a result of Roe v. Wade.”
“Republicans would likely struggle through years of difficult primaries as this highly complex issue would be bifurcated between black and white positions that enrage camps on both sides,” Hynes said. “This would obviously be a net win for national Democrats.”
The other policy question we face is the question of what to do about the substantial minority of Americans who continue to think gay marriage is a bad idea. The Roman Catholic Church and many evangelical churches, as well as many Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu groups aren’t going to change their historical doctrines just because the secular Zeitgeist has changed. The American people is not a flock of starlings who sweep in unison around the sky, all changing direction at just the same moment. If the laws recognize gay marriage, many religious groups will dissent against these laws, refuse to recognize the religious validity of these marriages, and continue to discourage the practice of homosexuality by their members.
Some gay rights advocates will believe that society needs to punish and repress these beliefs. Just as we don’t let segregated schools enjoy tax benefits and deny racists the “right” to discriminate in hiring and promoting, shouldn’t we hand out the same treatment to those backward bigots who refuse to move with the times?
At Via Meadia, we think that’s wrong. The distinction we would draw is between those who promote violence and bullying, and those who dissent from the new laws on moral grounds…
There will also be arguments over hate speech. It is certainly hate speech to say “Kill the faggots!” Is it hate speech to say that 2,000 years of Christian teaching rooted in the letters of the Apostle Paul assert that homosexual behavior is immoral and that no living person has the authority to overturn this long-established doctrine? To condemn the call for violence is easy; to condemn the second statement is to criminalize the practice of a substantial number of important religious traditions.
Turley said that polygamy is now where gay marriage was a decade ago, when Supreme Court decided Lawrence v. Texas, which stopped states from prohibiting sexual acts between same-sex couples. The implication is that polygamy will move forward in time.
“You cannot defend a new civil liberty, while denying it to others. I think there’s a grander more magnificent trend that can see in the law and that is this right to be left alone,” Turley said. “People have a right to establish their families as long as they don’t harm others.”
HANNITY: All right, last question, we have the issue of the Supreme Court dealing with two issues involving gay marriage. I’ve asked you a lot of questions. I’ve never asked you that, what are your thoughts?
CARSON: Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality. It doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition. So he, it’s not something that is against gays, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.
HANNITY: And you know, it’s interesting, Justice Sotomayor brought up the issue of polygamy and incest. Where does the definition stop and I guess, we’ll be debating it for weeks and months to come.
And it won’t stop there; it never does. I’ve written before of the Seven Stages of Liberal Legal Activism:
1. It’s a free country, X should not be illegal.
2. The Constitution prohibits X from being made illegal.
3. If the Constitution protects a right to X, how can it be immoral? Anyone who disagrees is a bigot.
4. If X is a Constitutional right, how can we deny it to the poor? Taxpayer money must be given to people to get X.
5. The Constitution requires that taxpayer money be given to people to get X.
6. People who refuse to participate in X are criminals.
7. People who publicly disagree with X are criminals.
I will venture two predictions: first, liberals have probably passed through the easiest part of the fight. To date, their strategy has been one of stigmatizing opposition to gay marriage, and guaranteeing a social and professional price in establishment circles for any contrary point of view. It is a course that has built a narrative in the media and run up a string of victories in heavily Democratic states where social conservatives are suspect. National Republicans — who depend on that same media for oxygen and who have to raise cash in New York, Chicago, and Washington boardrooms as much as Democrats do — have been thrown on the defensive.
But if the Court won’t hand out the kind of sweeping victory that seemed possible a few days ago, putting gay and lesbian couples on an equivalent legal footing everywhere means that gay marriage champions will have to venture into deep red states. In other words, the places where a majority of voters have proved immune to the mainstream media’s enthusiasms, and the places liberals are used to writing off. It will put the left in the position of finding common ground with the same faith-oriented, cultural traditionalists that liberals have not only ignored in the Obama era, but that they aggressively marginalized by characterizing them as representative of the dying throes of the Republican base.
Second, there is no reason to think that same-sex marriage will not face the same countervailing winds that every other elite consensus eventually runs up against. There will be the hardened, dismissive attitude toward opposition that always stirs up a populist backlash; the unforeseen consequences that unravel elements of an unwieldy coalition (what will African-Americans make of the inevitability that the single largest class of children in LGBT homes will be the overwhelmingly black foster and adoptive population? How long will it take the fastest rising social demographic under 35–non-married but cohabiting heterosexual couples–to assert their own privacy rights?
[T]he coverage the topic receives is still disproportionate. It’s everywhere, and we’re not just talking this week. It’s not just on TV…you can’t go more than a few Facebook status updates without running into someone opining about it, showing you how openly sensitive they are. Or when looking at another way, how morally superior they are to you, the vapid idiot who isn’t making an important political statement, but posted a photo of his dog playing in the snow instead.
Bottom line: I loathe hearing about anyone—gay or straight—drone on about marriage, particularly impending marriage plans (and yes, I’m married). It’s like hearing about someone’s fantasy football team…sure, it’s important to that particular person, but trust me (as someone who is emotionally invested in two leagues), there isn’t a soul on the planet who wants to hear about who you drafted and why, or what big trade you made that week.
Same goes for marriage: You’re gay? You’re getting married? Good for you. Look forward to getting an invitation…
Just don’t share it in 74 Facebook updates on 74 consecutive days about how you just hired a band/DJ, picked out the place settings, are so psyched for the bachelor/bachelorette party, booked the honeymoon, mailed out all the invitations, or any other fantasy football-esque wedding planning that (again, trust me) ultimately only you and perhaps your Mom care about.