As we know, last Tuesday’s election didn’t exactly go the way conservatives and other right-minded individuals might have wanted. Values voters as I’ve heard them called, or religious folks as they likely are, also got what might appear to them as bad news as well. I have another take.
Several states had the redefinition of marriage on the ballot, and the values voters’ position for the understanding of marriage as it has been for the last several thousand years lost. That’s progress for you. But in a way in the America of 2012 I think it just might be.
Up to last Tuesday, over 30 states had voted to reject the redefinition of marriage, and the defenders of traditional marriage hailed that as a victory for common sense in American culture. But for the first time when put to a vote of the people of several states the traditionalists lost, much to their chagrin. But notice the vote totals in these reliably liberal states (in percentages):
Minnesota: 51-48 – Didn’t legalize, but voted against changing the constitution to deny marriage to homosexuals.
Reading and listening to media all over the ideological spectrum since the election one might think that the tide of American culture away from traditional marriage is tsunami like; hardly. Well, if it is not a tidal wave of change, then it is at least, we’re told, in due course inevitable; hardly.
But getting away from Marxist interpretations of history as inevitable (ask those who thought the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union would never fall), having Americans vote on this issue, and letting their decisions stand is actually a good thing for the body politic. If a majority of voters in a certain state want this to be their law, so be it. No one is forced to live in a state that is governed in a way that contradicts their values.
The votes in these states also says that the marriage issue is not what the redefinition advocates are constantly trying to assert: that marriage “equality” is synonymous with racial justice. If it were, then putting it to a vote of the people would be immoral.
This is why the victory in these states on Tuesday was a hollow one for many gay-rights advocates. To them it’s like putting slavery to a vote. A Wall Street Journal article I read after the election explains:
Voters in Maine and Maryland made history Tuesday by permitting same-sex marriage. Returns still being counted in Washington state suggest voters there made a similar choice. Campaigners in those states celebrated their wins as models for persuading voters through direct campaigns to permit gay marriage, rather than relying on lawmakers or courts to sanction it.
But many gay-rights leaders said their strategy going forward—built on lessons from the African-American civil-rights movement—doesn’t bank on taking their cause directly to voters in many more states.
“Rights should not be put to a vote,” said Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, a national gay-rights group that supported Tuesday’s initiatives. “While we have now shown we can do it, it doesn’t mean that we should have to do it, and it doesn’t mean that it is easy to do.” He said “very few” states are likely appropriate battlegrounds for future ballot fights, given the expense and organization required.
It really couldn’t be put any better or more clearly. Think of the implications. Almost 50 percent of the voters in Washington, Maryland, Maine and Minnesota, based on this man’s assumptions, are bigots, basically akin to racists. In most of the rest of the United States, the majority of state voters would be bigots. It is interesting that most African Americans don’t buy this argument, but that hardly seems to matter to the determined progressive.
Thus it must come down to courts, and progressives hope the Supreme Court will impose the redefinition of marriage on the entire country by judicial fiat. If it does, the culture wars up to that point will seem like child’s play.
On the other hand, the much more politically healthy approach is to let state voters decide. This would keep America from a cultural civil war. It would also keep a large swath of the American population from being considered by law bigots no different than racists simply because they believe marriage by definition is only possible between a man and a woman. But I’m sure for the so called progressives, that is not progress enough.
The demand for the redefinition of marriage is not and has never been about letting two people of the same gender who love one another have certain rights married folks have. These can easily be had by civil union laws, and have. No, it has been, is and always will be about forcing Americans to accept the moral legitimacy of homosexual sex, that it is no different than heterosexual sex, and to delegitimize the Judeo-Christian view of sexual morality. Forcing this view via non-democratic means down the throat of the American public lies only turmoil.