Gay marriage is here to stay … period
In terms of gay issues, there are a lot of things the American people can oppose. Most notably, the introduction of sexuality – including alternative practices – to prepubescent children.
Several years ago, I suggested to Republicans – and a lot of Democrats, too – that opposition to gay marriage was a loser. Even before the Supreme Court decision protecting the right of gay individuals to marry, gayness had become largely normalized in society.
Anti-sodomy laws were taken off the books by legislative action or court decisions – or just ignored in terms of enforcement. Activities from which gays were banned became commonplace – such as cohabitating and open employment. Openly gay candidates have been elected and appointed to high office. Gays serve openly in the military. Gay couples can adopt children. Gay life is celebrated with parades, flags, and parties which draw visitors and tourists. Gay neighborhoods have become tourist attractions — such as Chicago’s “Boys’ Town.” (Sorry ladies, that is what they call it.)
My son’s Catholic grade school had students with same-sex parents – and a Catholic University my daughter attended had “gay club” events listed on the bulletin board. Gay characters are seen in a positive light on both the silver and the small screens.
None of these things were allowed in American society – by law or culture – 50 years ago.
The Supreme Court decision was arguably the final act in the legitimization of the gay lifestyle. Just as the American people are not racist in nature, we are no longer homophobic. Yes, there is significant disapproval of the lifestyle – especially among religious groups, such as Catholics, Muslims, and Baptists. But even those who disapprove have accepted gay folks as part of the society – even part of their own families.
The last gasps of political opposition to gay marriage came at the end of the 20th Century when there were still efforts to pass a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage. It lacked sufficient public support to gain footing in Congress. As late as 2008, candidate Barack Obama declared himself opposed to gay marriage – declaring that marriage can only be a union of one man and one woman. The shifting tide of public opinions forced him to abandon that position.
Those on the left argue – even predict – that gay marriage will be the next target of the Supreme Court conservative majority. I doubt it for two reasons. Unlike abortion, public tolerance of gays is much stronger and deeper than support for unrestricted abortion-on-demand. In addition, acceptance – if not always total approval – of gay folks does not involve the killing of a developing human being. The gay lifestyle – like it or not – is a privacy matter that does not deprive a “person” of the right to life.
The issue of gay marriage could be cemented more firmly in American law by an act of Congress. In fact, it is exactly what the Congress should do – put the issue up for a vote. I have no doubt that it would garner enough votes to pass – and that any President, Republican or Democrat, would sign such legislation.
So, why is there no such legislation? It is the same reason that Congress does not deal with immigration law, the so-called “dreamers,” abortion, establishing a federal budget, and declaring wars. Congress lacks the institutional courage to deal with controversial issues and exert its constitutional prerogatives.
I understand that many folks have strong feelings about the morality of the gay lifestyle, but woe on politicians who would campaign on de-legitimizing it by legislation.
Democrats use the issue to fearmonger – claiming that Republicans will do away with the rights of gay Americans. Their claims are nothing more than political nonsense proffered solely for political benefit. Surely, they know that there is no political gravitas on either side of the aisle to abolish gay marriage. It is an issue not worth debating.
So, there ‘tis.