It is tempting to do two things in the analysis of the move towards Marriage Equality. The first is to announce the death of the anti-equality groups, and the second is to conflate same-sex marriage with abortion. Arch Conservative George Will does both in his interview on ABC’s This Week.
Will stated that “They don’t want to do what they did with abortion. The country was having a constructive accommodation on abortion, liberalizing abortion laws. The court yanked the subject out of democratic discourse and embittered the argument. They may say we don’t want to do that, we can just let the democracy take care of this. On the other hand, they could say it’s now safe to look at this because there is something like an emerging consensus. Quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying. It’s old people.”
Marriage Equality is unlike the issue of abortion. There is not a whole lot of grey area to cover with same-sex marriage. It is impossible to completely cut off someone from a government provided service. It is also impossible to regulate those providing marriage licences and marriage ceremonies out of a state. The anti-choice groups have largely worked to regulate the clinics out of existence, and they can do that because it is a service provided by the private sector. Certainly the anti-equality groups can try and put in conscience exemptions such as they already have in various states, and this might allow one or two town clerks to refuse to give licences, but they still have to accommodate the couple seeking a licence in some manner.
The only real comparison for same-sex marriage lies within interracial marriage.
He went on to say that “Look in Salt Lake City, the 12 Apostles. The Mormon Church after the election says, well, ‘Maybe we’re going to change our position on homosexuality is a choice. You’re not born that way. I mean, the effects of an election reverberate all the way through society.”
The problem with his statement there is that the Mormon Church had already largely moved to the position that they are now advocating a while ago. They have maintained that same-sex attraction is innate and not chosen for a couple of years now, but continued to push the idea that lesbians and gays should still ignore that attraction and either marry opposite sex individuals or not have sex at all. The Mormon Church, however, is desperate to try and keep members from leaving the religion, which is what is happening over their opposition to Marriage Equality. The Mormon Church has continued to pursue and fund such measures despite opposition from within their own ranks.
Still, others have noted that there are shifts occurring such as economist Paul Krugman who stated that the decision by the Supreme Court to take on same-sex marriage is “actually a positive [for Democrats]. This is a significant bloc of voters that will make a decision based on which party they see as being favorable to equal rights.”
And Republican strategist Mary Matalin has stated that “Well, because Americans have common sense. There are important constitutional, biological, theological, ontological questions relative to homosexual marriage. People who live in the real world, say, the greater threat to the civil order are the heterosexuals who don’t get married and are making babies. That’s an epidemic in crisis proportions. That is irrefutably more problematic for our culture than homosexuals getting married. I find this important dancing on the head of a pin argument, but in real life, looking down 30 years from now, real people understand the consequences of so many babies being born out of wedlock to the economy and to the morality of the country.