CommunityPam's House Blend

The fundies won't win in the end

An eye-opening recent column by Cokie and Steve Roberts — two pretty centrist stalwarts — on their evolution to support same-sex marriage after long-time friends of theirs decided to get hitched, is another sign that the fundies cannot win the culture war.

As we approach our own 40th anniversary, we believe in marriage more than ever. It might not be right for all people all of the time, but it’s right for most people most of the time, whatever their sexual orientation, and friends like Kevin and Grant have convinced us to alter our views and support gay marriage.

We’ve always supported civil unions, which give same-sex couples certain legal rights. But we shared the concerns of our good friend, Rep. Barney Frank, an outspoken gay leader, who worried that America was not ready for gay marriage.

His fears are still justified in many parts of the country. And we don’t think religious institutions should be forced to perform or recognize same-sex ceremonies.

But the trend line is clear. According to the Gallup poll, 39 percent of Americans now approve of gay marriage, an increase of 12 points over the last decade. Despite all the over-heated rhetoric about gays “undermining” marriage, real-world experience tells a very different story.

Terrance of The Republic of T has a great post on this that you should read. A snippet…

Here’s that poll that Cokie and Steve cited in their column, which also shows that opposition to same-sex marriage has dropped from 64% to 51% since February of 2004. That’s pretty much during the same period during which the president and his supporters have tried to convince the country that we’re some kind of orgiastic cabal hell-bent on destroying civilization during whatever spare time we have between orgasms. (And according to what I’m reading these days, that’s a paranoia that goes back to the Dark Ages and beyond, when the church was the state.) So if you think about it, they’ve thrown almost everything they have at the issue, and still opposition to same-sex marriage has gone down and support for marriage equality has gone up.

Pair that with my previous post concerning Deb Price’s column about younger people (younger voters, we hope) becoming more gay-friendly with each generation and more supportive of same-sex marriage and/or civil unions. Then imagine where public opinion will probably be ten years from now. While you’re imagining that, know that the other side has already imagined. They’ve seen the writing on the wall and that’s why they’re considering more desperate measures like a constitutional convention. They know it’s now or never for them on this issue. They know that the next generations will probably be the one’s to make same-sex marriage a reality, and to overturn most of the anti-gay marriage laws in the states once those laws are inevitably challenged.

As I’ve said before, coming out and opening up dialog with coworkers, neighbors and family — personal interaction — is already paying off; corporate America recognizes the value of gay employees and the gay market.

The major problem — stalling even more progress — is that gays and lesbians cannot count on open political support from establishment politicians. These idiots refuse to openly stand up for full civil equality for gays, preferring to remain behind the curve, and hiding behind a position opposing a constitutional amendment until it’s “safe” to be pro-gay. They are worried about soothing the 700 Club crowd instead of living up to the core progressive values.

They could lead, but they don’t want to, even as they hold their hat out for queer dollars, and as they whisper in our ear that “we’re with you, just be patient while I stroke this fundie over here.” It doesn’t wash, and the fundies see through it too. The only conclusion to draw from the mad-dash away from the issue is that these otherwise progressive politicians truly have weighed that screwing over gays to obtain and retain power is preferable to standing up for principles, believing we have nowhere else to go. Terrance:

Well, we should remember just who stood up and who ran scared, leaving us on our own. We should keep a list of names, check it when elections roll around, and deliver or withhold our support accordingly.

It’s sad to see such timidity when all the signs are there that the public is ready for leadership and reframing on this issue, based on the tone of the Roberts’s column, and other progress we have seen. Aside from the sorry few politicians at the national level (Feingold, Kennedy) willing to speak out, the silence by most others signals inertia, incompetence and apathy regarding the impact of the denial of civil equality on LGBT citizens.

* More squirming from Dems on equality

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding