Why gay marriage opponents have lost

The Washington Post’s conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin, has an interesting theory as to why opponents of gay marriage have lost the debate: They’re arguing religion.

[G]ay marriage opponents have lost the argument with the public and the courts because what was once a matter of defending social consensus has evolved into a plea for enforcement of one set of religious norms in a diverse society. Without evidence of harm to others, there is no constitutionally acceptable reason to preserve the distinction.

Now, to some degree, the argument also boils down to “majority rule.”

marriage-oregon-largeThe majority didn’t like gay marriage, so it was easy to argue against. When the public finds something icky, you don’t need a terribly good argument to beat it back.

But now that a majority of the public supports the right of gays to marry, the vaunted Republican hate groups, like the Family Research Council, are forced to come up with actual arguments that can pass legal, political and social muster, and they can’t.

All they have left is their religion, and their religion says gays are icky. Yet some religions don’t say that. And regardless of there being a disagreement among religions on the matter, courts aren’t really big on making religion into law (unless it’s religion we all agree on, then get a bit flaky at times). But we all don’t agree on this one, and a majority of us no longer agree with religion on it either.

So yet again, changing social mores are leading to changing legal and political mores.

In the end, prejudice loses because the over-judgemental emperor has no clothes. And while no one cared about that fact when the majority thought gays were abnormal, now that society has finally come around, gay marriage opponents simply look small-minded, backwards and mean.

At the beginning they had no real arguments, in part because they didn’t need them. And now, they don’t exist.

And that’s why they lost.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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