Stanley Kurtz has an opinion piece on gay marriage in the online version of the National Review.
I don’t agree with much of what he has to say, but one point comes out clear and accurate:
Gay marriage is an issue most people prefer to avoid. The public may oppose gay marriage, but what it really wants is to avoid having to talk about it.This parallels the well established scenario where people who are against gay rights (of any sort) tend to change (or at least soften) their stance when they have a family member, close friend, or co-worker come out. Once they have a face to put with the situation, they tend to actually think about it, rather than going with their squicked gut reaction.
That is undoubtedly true for the same-sex civil marriage side of things, too. The arguments against it start (and pretty much end) with “It’s wrong!!!” Once people are forced (er, encouraged) to actually think about the issue (if you can get them to think rather than preach), if you can put a face on it, then you’ll find them at least softening their stance. (The first sign of that being “Well, I guess civil unions might be okay.”)
People are sheep: they want to be herded from one field to the next. People are metaphoric ostriches, sticking their heads in the sand. They will pointedly ignore the truth of an issue in favor of repeating other people’s rhetoric. The best cure for this is personal activism — “Being out is more important than coming out” — so you need to do what you can to make those around you aware that same-sex couples are here, are queer, and deserve the rights, benefits, and responsibilities which every other loving couple gets in our society.
Updated on March 15, 2011