The Time Has Come for All Good People to Come to the Aid of What Is Right

We’ve had some big marriage wins lately in the conservative camp. First that pro-equality Supreme Court brief from a long list of prominent Republicans, then a sitting Republican senator, and now an endorsement from conservative pillar Charles Murray — given at the CPAC conference, no less! That’s just a sampling. The list is long and getting longer. But why? And more to the point, why now?

I think it’s because they know it could be their last chance.

For many of them,it might work like this:

  • They think same-sex marriage, whether they like it or not, is inevitable.
  • They know the Supreme Court might settle the question in a few months.
  • They fear this is their last chance to be on the right side of history.

I have no respect for that. Believe what you believe, regardless of the political wind. Realizing your conviction is unpopular is no reason to change it.

But I think something else is going on, too. Imagine you’re a conservative. And you support marriage equality. And you’ve been silent. But now you realize this may be your last chance to say you supported same-sex marriage before it becomes the law of the land.

How mortifying must it be to know you sided with the angels in the great civil rights struggle of our day, but no one will ever believe you?

To know you’re on the right side of moral history, but might be seen for the rest of your life as one of its opponents?

To know you believe in the American ideals of freedom and human dignity, but sat out this historic struggle to turn America into a more perfect union?

How mortifying must it be to know that you are right, but your silence now could brand you forever as having been deeply and morally wrong?

We don’t know what the Supreme Court will do. Things could go entirely for us, against us, or any one of a myriad ways in between. But no matter what the decision, we’re ramping up to an historical landmark. And this time, because of the Internet, no one will ever doubt twenty years from now where you stood today. So this may be everyone’s last chance. The message is growing loud and it’s frightening — to Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and the whole gamut of the political spectrum:

There is no more safety in silence. Declare yourself. Declare yourself now, before it’s too late.

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3 comments to The Time Has Come for All Good People to Come to the Aid of What Is Right

  • 1
    Christopher says:

    I’m sure there are many who believe, or once believed, that marriage equality wasn’t an issue that affected them. I suspect this may even be true of the majority of heterosexuals. Politicians are usually in a position where they have to take some sort of stand, so I applaud those who were willing to stand up for marriage equality even when it wasn’t popular or even “safe” to do so. But for those who thought it didn’t affect them I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that it does affect someone they know–a friend, a family member, a co-worker. Senator Portman’s case may only be a very public (and, possibly, in his case, politically expedient) case of what’s happening privately across the country. People who thought marriage equality didn’t matter to them are realizing that it matters to everyone. And that’s why a growing number of people seem to feel they can’t be silent about it either.

  • 2
    Regan DuCasse says:

      There’s that Christopher, and there is also how those against marriage equality defend discrimination. At best, there are obvious contradictions in terms. There is hypocrisy. These are inevitable. And most of all, the most virulently against it all, tend to sound paranoid and extremely ignorant. The usual stereotype that is expressed, would sound ludicrous for all the reasons you stated.  The sons and daughters of their own, their neighbors, the friends of their children who are gay, are NONE of the threat, or conspiratorial agents out to destroy the meaning of what’s family, marriage and love. They know where these people came from, and what their day to day lives are about.
    Typically, testimony given against marriage equality is from people who have no credentials or empirical experience to back their opinions. Invoking God and religion shouldn’t work either because religion is neither required or enforced in our country. And making exceptions to that against gay citizens would be wrong, since it’s not done to anyone else.
      More and more, there is proof that within the handfuls of states here in the US, and entire Western nations (especially our neighbor to the north Canada) where equality has been in effect a decade or so, none of the predicted negative results have come true. NONE that couldn’t be reasonably and commonly expected that occurs with straight people.
      And none of this is the basis of discrimination either.
    The bigots, dug their own grave. And as much as they’ll try to pile on the even more ludicrous denial that this turn in the wind’s direction happened through gay people having more money, more political influence or the ability to intimidate and threaten, that claim is working less and less.
     NOM and their cohorts tried to run an entire campaign that needed ignorance and fear to prevail. And that tactic, doesn’t have the strength it used to, nor deserves to.
      

  • 3
    Clayton says:

    I thought something very revealing happened at CPAC with GOP rising star, Marco Rubio.  When he was supposed to be throwing red meat to the audience, he said, “Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot.”   In contrast to the 2012 presidential primaries, when every single candidate pledged to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman, Rubio was leaving it up to the states.  Their right to define marraige “in a traditional way” would also, presumably, include a right to define it in a nontraditional way.  Since states are increasingly embracing marriage equality, and since polling suggests this trend will accellerate (barring an extremely favorable Supreme Court ruling), Rubio’s “red meat” statement was really calculated to allow him to evolve as the nation does.  He wasn’t taking a stand on anything.

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