The latest Gallup polling on attitudes regarding same-sex marriage shows a trend that should concern conservatives as well as all Americans.
From the narrow view of just the same-sex marriage issue, although the majority of Americans are still opposed to legalization, they are a lot less opposed than they were in the a decade ago. From the vantage point of homosexual activists, the trend certainly appears to be their friend.
Moreover, given how this debate is formulated and presented, I see a broader message emerging. I get a sense that Americans are increasingly confusing entitlement and political power with freedom and tolerance. This does not bode well for the future of a free and vibrant country.
The most recent polling shows that a strong majority of Americans oppose legal recognition of same sex marriage (58 percent) and a slight majority favor a constitutional amendment (50 percent for, 47 percent opposed). The support breaks out consistently along partly lines. Republicans favor the amendment (66 percent for) and Democrats oppose (55 percent against).
These results are about the same as they were last year. However, they have changed a lot over the last 10 years. Today 39 percent of Americans support legal recognition of same sex marriage, up from 27 percent 10 years ago and 58 percent oppose, down from 68 percent 10 years ago.
Completing the picture of what seems reasonable to call a trend, the area of the population where support for same-sex marriage is strongest and growing is among young people. Time does not seem to favor those who want to preserve tradition.
A more qualitative measure of this trend is to just listen to how the debate is cast.
A Washington Post editorial opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment accuses Republicans of "picking on gays and lesbians." According to the Post, such an amendment would "discriminate against a class of people."
Mary Cheney in her new book equates this alleged discrimination to denial of rights in the past to women and blacks and prohibitions against interracial marriage.
So, along with the trend toward increasing acceptance of the idea of same-sex marriage has been the complete obliteration of the idea that homosexuality is a type of behavior as opposed to a state of being. The discussion has long disappeared that this is about attitudes regarding this behavior and it has become almost exclusively cast as discrimination claims against gays and lesbians.
Philosophers of science point out that there is nothing we can prove. We can only disprove things. The only thing that it takes to disprove something is to find one incident where the theory doesn't work.