Mark Joseph Stern gets to the root of same-sex marriage opposition

Mark Joseph Stern gets to the root of same-sex marriage opposition

Over at Slate, Mark Joseph Stern has written a disarmingly direct essay on the truth behind same-sex marriage opposition, and it goes something like this: We just don’t like the idea of gays.

The problem here, of course, is that an honest answer—“your honor, we believe gay people will destroy the marital institution altogether” — would undermine the supposedly secular, animus-free nature of these arguments. In developing them, anti-gay activists began with a conclusion — gay people don’t deserve the rights that we straight people have — then worked backward, camouflaging each prejudiced premise with a supposedly neutral talking point. Under any kind of scrutiny, these theories instantly fall apart, revealing their bigoted, constitutionally impermissible core.

That’s what happened on Monday, when the 4th Circuit held that “apprehension and inertia” lie behind resistance to marriage equality. It’s what happened when Pennsylvania and Nevada’s Republican governors gave up on their states’ gay marriage bans, and when North Carolina, Oregon, Kentucky, Illinois, California, and Virginia’s attorneys general did the same. A good lawyer knows when she’s on the losing side of an argument. And stripped of their conservative Christian underpinnings, these arguments are blindingly, blatantly hollow.

And yet the inanity continues full-throttle, because gay marriage opponents have backed themselves into the corner they’ve always dreaded. They can’t give up their quest now — but they’re barred from citing the explanations that they truly believe, deep down, to be correct. The result is the current tailspin of idiocy, a shifting argument with rootless standards roaming from rationale to rationale in a desperate attempt to find shelter from the storm of progress swirling around it. It’s a pathetic display, but not an unpleasant one to witness. Stripped of all logic and reason, the argument against gay marriage has been reduced to gibberish. Enjoy the babbling while it lasts.

The entire essay gets to the root of what LGBT advocates have known for a long time: that once you remove laws based on animus against gays (unconstitutional) and laws based on “we think gay sex is icky” (unconstitutional), you don’t have anything left.

I encourage you to read the entire article at Slate.