How does gay marriage affect you?
Recently, a friend of mine asked me what I thought about the chances of gay marriage becoming the norm in this country. Well, the state of Maine just signed the same-sex marriage bill into law, making it the fifth of fifty to do so as of this date. In addition, New Hampshire's legislature just voted to legalize gay nuptials and is awaiting the governor's signature. Meanwhile, the City Council of the District of Columbia took a preliminary step, voting 12 to 1, to recognize marriages between gay people certified in other states. Furthermore, similar legislation is pending in other states, including a major debate in the New York legislature.
Therefore, in answer to my friend's question, with history being my guide, I think the dominos will fall, one against another, until the last dotted rectangle of this socially divisive battle is resting precariously on its neighbor, like defeated soldiers in a lost war against traditional values.
If past is indeed prologue, the organized, concentrated and continuous assault by a small percentage of zealots will ultimately wear down the resistance of the larger, less focused, non-committed majority. Surveys indicate that most Americans disagree with gay marriage. But, disagreeing is one thing; marching in protest is another. How many people feel it's worth it to step out of their comfort zone and take a strong stand against something that very likely will result in a blistering attack on their "insensitivity," their "bigotry" and their lack of "humanity?"
Consider the example of Carrie Prejean, Miss California 2009 and runner up in the Miss USA Pageant. When asked her opinion of gay marriage by gay activist Perez Hilton, who was also a judge at the event, she tried her best to be sensitive, while sticking to her moral convictions. She said she believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman, adding, "No offense intended."
Instead of applauding her for her courage and honesty in handling one of the more controversial subjects in the history of this great republic, Hilton wasted no time in his condemnation of the heartfelt opinion by the beauty queen. Using the Internet as his assault weapon, the foul-mouthed advocate for homosexual matrimony blasted the woman with a diatribe of expletives and other abusive commentary. What followed was an avalanche of vitriolic calumny by gay organizations and their radical supporters.
Keep in mind: these are the same people who bellow about civil rights and the disenfranchisement of the powerless. Well, the last time I checked, freedom to express an opinion was a civil right too. Yet, when Hilton asked that question, the only answer acceptable to him would have been to capitulate to the stentorian clatter of political correctness. Although the movement toward gay marriage may be inexorable, its success is likely to be retarded by scurrilous attacks on our symbols of decency.
Perez Hilton doesn't speak for the majority of gays any more than Al Sharpton speaks for the majority of African-Americans. Nevertheless, the Sharptons and the Hiltons play a very significant role in that they use intimidation to keep people from taking a stand against anything they are for. If you disagree with a position taken by the "Reverend," you'll likely be called a racist. Similarly, Hilton and his rabid band of acolytes will brand you as a homophobe if you dare to have a contrasting opinion.
The strategy is to kill off the opposition by trashing them so thoroughly that others will quake in their boots at the thought of going public with their opinions. While Ms. Prejean spoke for the majority, a vocal minority within a minority are trying to destroy her as a lesson to those other stouthearted traditionalists who might have the unmitigated gall to tread on a sacred cow.
Speaking of traditions, as each one crumbles before our eyes, people will begin asking themselves if it's really that important to embrace the values of our ancestors. The question will be akin to the crackling sound of mortar being separated from the bricks that hold the house together. That's why I feel certain that it's just a matter of time before gay marriage will be legalized from coast to coast. Who's going to stand in the way? Are you willing to set yourself up as the piñata for a maniacal mob of club-swinging heterophobes (turnabout is fair play) determined to have their agenda ratified?
Perhaps, as some have opined, fifty years from now, people will look back and wonder why the issue of same-sex marriage was so controversial during the turn of the century. Moreover, the institution of marriage, like the concept of pregnancy, may have lost its relevance in the brave new world.
Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the executive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. Email Bob.