DOMA is gone, Proposition 8 was thrown out, and one state after another is legalizing same-sex marriage. Despite these things, it still seemed like a miracle when Utah — one of the most conservative states in the country — began allowing same-sex marriages late this past December. Gay and lesbian couples were allowed to get married for a grand total of 17 days before a judge in the Beehive State put a hold on the ruling.
Social conservatives within the GOP are wasting time fighting the inevitable and alienating so many potential voters on this one issue because they simply refuse to compromise. I have heard every argument against same-sex marriage and, though I disagree with all of them, some are more valid than others. But honestly, it’s time for those of you that are against same-sex marriage to let it go.
First, I completely understand the concern that religious institutions might be forced to perform marriages that go against their belief systems — and I don’t believe that having such reservations makes you a bigot. I, like Neal discussed earlier, also hate that the left automatically tries to paint same-sex marriage opponents as such, but it’s conservatives’ fault that they’ve been unable to flip the narrative.
Marriage is a government contract between two consenting adults. (Romantic, I know.) Given that premise it would be so simple for conservatives to say that they back state-issued marriage licenses for all unions between two individuals, so long as religious institutions are not required to perform said marriages. This way, when people or groups start to sue religious organizations because they will not marry same-sex couples, they will be seen as the uncompromising extremists.
Second, it would also be more consistent for the party that decries the Obama administration’s big government policies to stop being so… big government. It has become so tiresome to have to listen to candidates discuss their ideas for a more conservative fiscal policy (that I daresay many would agree with given the current state of our nation’s financial situation), and then immediately stick both feet in their mouths as they begin discussing how they’d like to protect the sanctity of marriage and stand up for the traditional family unit.
I am by no means a liberal, but I can’t blame some people for not wanting to listen to conservatives anymore, because I know that I stopped listening a long time ago.
How do you expect to win votes by telling people they are not good enough to enjoy the same benefits you believe straight married couples are entitled to? Why, then, would any gay person in America want to listen to your other ideas? (And yes, I know there are many proud gay conservatives out there. But let’s not kid ourselves — compared to the number of gay people who consider themselves liberals, they are by far the minority.)
Third, unlike what Jay said earlier, the fight to legalize same-sex marriage is most definitely an issue of equality. Jay said that all men and women are free to choose a partner of the opposite gender, and will then be afforded the same marriage rights as every other heterosexual couple. I hate to have to point out the glaringly obvious here, but gay people are not physically or emotionally attracted to the opposite gender. That’s what makes them gay. So to say that they should just choose to marry someone they aren’t in love with is silly, completely undermines the entire argument from conservatives who say that marriage is about love and union between two people, and makes same-sex marriage bans inherently unequal.
Lastly, it can be argued that people shouldn’t focus only on one issue and should vote based on more important things like the deficit or healthcare. But guess what? Conservatives can peddle out facts and figures on unemployment or the national debt or whatever-issue-is-hot-this-month all they want, but the average voter will start to tune out after a while.
Like it or not, many people vote based on emotion, not based on the number of jobs that were created last year or some other statistic that doesn’t personally affect them. Telling voters that they or someone they care about cannot get married because you personally don’t approve does not exactly leave people feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
So congratulations, same-sex marriage opponents. Utah won’t be issuing any more licenses to same-sex couples for a while. By all means, keep on fighting your losing battle — and let me know how you feel about the issue in 2024 when President Hillary Clinton’s two terms are over.