I've been meaning to post on this. Last weekend, at the Los Angeles Times, Harvard Professor Michael Klarman argued that gay marriage is inevitable in the United States. Klarman makes two points: (1) that as more and more people come to know someone who is gay they are reluctant to deprive them of "rights" such as same-sex marriage and (2) that younger Americans are more tolerant of gay marriage and thus the younger demographic cohort will compose a larger, decisive share of the electorate as older, more conservative voters pass from the political scene.
The generational argument is one that's been made often in the last few years, with some proponents of gay marriage even counseling moderation in political fights since time is on the side of same-sex activists. And that may be true. My position is that gay marriage is not in fact a civil right but that if states wish to enact it then a federalist solution should be considered. (And I thought the David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch compromise offered in 2009 was excellent, "A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage.")
But one of the things that bothers me even about promoting state-level votes to allow gay marriage is that the radical left gay rights lobby has worked aggressively and viciously to demonize and discredit the democratic process when it comes to same-sex rights. A small but extremely vocal minority has essentially flipped James Madison's fear of tyranny of the majority on its head: now an in-your-face totalitarian gay militia will attack, stalk, berate, threaten, and destroy opponents of same-sex marriage. In California, supporters of Proposition 8 were targeted for harassment and the progressives attacked the First Amendment rights of the Mormon Church, which had spent heavily in favor of the initiative. And when the case went to federal court, the trial became farce as the radical progressives turned the proceedings into a sham show trial. (See Michelle's report, "The anti-Prop. 8 mob strikes again.")
It's obvious that progressives are scared to death of legitimate debate on gay marriage. And after the normal moral arguments and bogus comparisons to the black civil rights struggle fail to sway voters, the left turns into a lynch mob to literally destroy the opposition. Here's the letter to the editor from reader Pat Murphy at the Los Angeles Times, in response to Professor Klarman's case for the inevitability of gay marriage:
Michael Klarman wants everyone to think there's widespread support for gay marriage. Then why have voters rejected it in every state where it has been on the ballot, including recently in Maine and twice in California?Exactly.
"In the few states in which it is allowed, it was the result of backroom maneuvering — such as in Massachusetts, where the legislature won't allow its residents to vote on the issue, or California, where judicial fiat has now overturned two elections.
"Because the public won't cooperate, Klarman cites polls that suit his opinion that gay marriage is inevitable. This reflects a mind-set that shows contempt for the democratic process.
And in response Klarman fails back on the same tired comparisons between same-sex marriage and interracial marriage that even the majority of black voters have rejected. (See the New York Times report from earlier this week, for example, "Gay Marriage a Tough Sell with Blacks in Maryland.")
The gay marriage agenda is totalitarian. The left simply cannot tolerate differences of opinion on this issue, because time and again they've been on the losing side of the argument. The funny thing about is that in then end, the browbeating and bullying will carry the day. We may indeed see the gay marriage ayatollahs prevail since people of decency and morals don't like to be falsely attacked as "bigots" all day long, and many will simply decide that given the threats to their safety, it's just not worth it after a while. And make note of how it's not just the radical fringe who resorts to thuggery. Top Democrat Party appendages have propelled the progressive attack strategy to the front of the gay marriage push. The left's merciless attacks on Rick Santorum are are recent example. Here's this from the White House-aligned Think Progress last week, "Protesters Shout Down Santorum as He Speaks Against Marriage Equality in Washington State":
So, while it's not a pretty picture, that's likely where things stand. Unfortunately, I don't see as many conservatives really buckling down in defense of traditional marriage as is needed to carry the day. I see a lot of folks on the right just throwing up their hands in defeat, perhaps because of a libertarian bent or of a misplaced need to appear tolerant.
Gay marriage is not conservative. Folks who call themselves conservative should be manning the barricades against the left's freakish mob now raping the democracy like one more crime in the #OWS agenda. There's more on that at Soros-backed Think Progress, "Catching Up On the Current State Marriage Equality Efforts" (via Memeorandum).