On the whole, there shouldn’t have been a surer thing than the defeat of Proposition 8 in the California elections last month.
The activists pressing for the approval of same-sex “marriage” had all the heavyweights on their side of the issue: major corporations, big money, the media, the Hollywood elites, the California Teachers’ Association and the university big-wigs, the governor and the attorney general, and a fair portion of the legislature. Even the state’s high court climbed into the ring, ignoring past election results to legalize same-sex ceremonies in a controversial decision last spring.
Going into November, activists promoting the same-sex agenda were giving defenders of marriage a public pounding that even boxing legend Jack Dempsey might have found impressive.
And yet …the activists lost. What’s more, they’re still losing—giving up round after round in the crucial post-election bout for public sympathy. And curiously, they’re losing for the same reason the powerful Dempsey lost his heavyweight title fight in 1927.
Boxing fans had waited a year for the rematch between the brutal “Manassa Mauler” and the nimble “Fighting Marine” Gene Tunney, who had won an upset victory against the legendary, savage Dempsey not by knockout, but on points. Now, Dempsey wanted his title back—and in no time, the rematch found Tunney lying dazed and face down on the mat.
And that might have been it…except for what became known as “the long count.”
New rules required boxers to retire to a neutral corner once their opponents were down. Only then could a referee start the 10-second count. But Dempsey was famous for looming over a fallen opponent, waiting to pummel him if he dared get to his knees. And that’s what he did now, despite the ref’s warning.
Long seconds ticked by before Dempsey stormed to his corner…and by then, Tunney had regained his senses. Staggering to his feet on the ninth second of the ten-count, he came back to beat Dempsey again.
There’s a lesson there for activists who are, if anything, less willing than Dempsey to go to a neutral corner and await the judges’ decision. Faced with election results they don’t like—and stung by the upset victory of their opponents—they’ve come out swinging, filing no less than six lawsuits to have the election results nullified and attacking their foes outside the courtroom, too.
Austin R. Nimocks is senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that has defended marriage and religious liberty in courts throughout the U.S.