Nowhere is this more evident -- and perhaps exaggerated -- than in popular culture. Watch ABC's "Modern Family." The sitcom is supposed to be "subversive" in part because it features a gay couple with an adopted daughter from Asia. And you can see why both liberal proponents and conservative opponents of gay marriage see it that way. But imagine you hate the institution of marriage and then watch "Modern Family's" hardworking bourgeois gay couple through those eyes. What's being subverted? Traditional marriage, or some bohemian identity politics fantasy of homosexuality?
By the way, according to a recent study, "Modern Family" is the No. 1 sitcom among Republicans (and the third show overall behind Glenn Beck and "The Amazing Race") but not even in the top 15 among Democrats, who prefer darker shows like Showtime's "Dexter," about a serial killer trying to balance work and family between murders.
Or look at the decision to let gays openly serve in the military through the eyes of a principled hater of all things military. From that perspective, gays have just been co-opted by The Man. Meanwhile, the folks who used "don't ask, don't tell" as an excuse to keep the military from recruiting on campuses just saw their argument go up in flames.
Personally, I have always felt that gay marriage was an inevitability, for good or ill (most likely both). I do not think that the arguments against gay marriage are all grounded in bigotry, and I find some of the arguments persuasive. But I also find it cruel and absurd to tell gays that living the free-love lifestyle is abominable while at the same time telling them that their committed relationships are illegitimate too.
Many of my conservative friends -- who oppose both civil unions and gay marriage and object to rampant promiscuity --often act as if there's some grand alternative lifestyle for gays. But there isn't. And given that open homosexuality is simply a fact of life, the rise of the HoBos -- the homosexual bourgeoisie -- strikes me as good news.