Is Gay Marriage Inevitable?

Maggie Gallagher
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Posted: Jun 20, 2008 3:30 PM
Is Gay Marriage Inevitable?

What's all the fuss about?

A couple of hundred same-sex couples in California flock to the justice of the peace -- why should anybody care?

This is the single most powerful argument for gay marriage out there: Why should you care?

The second most powerful argument is its twin sister: Gay marriage is inevitable, so stop worrying about it.

Oddly, at the moment of its greatest apparent victory, the consequences of gay marriage are becoming ever more clear.

As the gay marriage movement becomes more confident of inevitable victory, it is also becoming more open and explicit about what gay marriage will mean for the rest of us.

For example, redefining "infidelity." Back in the '90s, when Andrew Sullivan first suggested gay couples had a thing or two to teach opposite-sex couples about our rigid insistence on sexual fidelity, public reaction was so negative that he recanted (and to this day he gets mad if you even mention he said it!).

But from the new-won confidence of his legally recognized gay marriage in Massachusetts, Eric Erbelding is quite comfortable explaining to The New York Times: "Our rule is you can play around because, you know, you have to be practical." Eric says most married gay couples he knows are "for the most part monogamous, but for maybe a casual three-way."

For the most part ... except for the casual three-way?

Try explaining that one to your wife.

But hey, if the word "marriage" can be redefined as a civil rights imperative, why balk at lesser ideas like "monogamy" or "fidelity"?

Similarly, gay marriage advocates are becoming quite candid about what this ruling, if left undisturbed, will mean for traditional faith communities. A May 30 Washington Blade story asked, "What about religious adoption agencies or daycare centers? Will they be forced to accommodate gays?

"Experts say organizations that receive state and federal funding will not be allowed to oppose working with gays for religious reasons," the Blade forthrightly reports. "Some, most notably Catholic Charities of Boston (gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts), have opted to get out of the adoption business rather than be forced to allow gays to adopt."

What about the next step: "Could churches in time risk their tax-exempt status by refusing to marry gays?"

Here's what the gay newspaper of record thinks: "That remains to be seen and will likely result in a steady stream of court battles."

Even NPR, that bastion of evangelical hysteria, frankly admitted this week: "Two titanic legal principles are crashing on the steps of the church, synagogue and mosque: equal treatment for same-sex couples on the one hand, and the freedom to exercise religious beliefs on the other.

"The collision that will play out over the next few years will be filled with pathos on both sides," NPR says. But the story also acknowledges that so far, the religious groups are losing.

I do not mean to underestimate the powerful forces pushing for gay marriage. But excuse me, I'm 48 years old. I've grown up with successive waves of progressive myths, all preaching "resistance is futile." I was told as a teenager that nobody would be pro-life once all the old folks died off, and that no mothers would be home with children. I was told communism -- or at least socialism -- was inevitable, too. Have you looked at the Soviet Union lately?

War is not about killing your enemies; it's about crushing your enemies' will to fight. Guess what? Culture war is too.

Nothing is inevitable but death and taxes. If we lose marriage at the polls this November, it will be because gay folks cared more, fought harder, gave more -- and I don't believe that's going to happen.

Prediction: Californians are going to surprise the elites and the progressive mythmakers by joining the 27 other states (from Oregon to Wisconsin) that have voted to protect marriage as between husband and wife.

We're here, we believe in marriage, get used to it.

100 Days to Go