Supreme Court

Stuff Gay People Like

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Over at the Opinion L.A. blog, emeritus reasoner Tim Cavanaugh makes the (bi-)curious case for gay marriage as a home-wrecking ball aimed at the straights:

One personal confession: I've always had two journalistic reservations with the whole gay marriage issue. The first is that it's practically impossible to come up with an illustration for a gay marriage story that is not either two men embracing, two women embracing or a wedding cake with two grooms on top. The second is that I've always found the people I agree with on this issue (pro-gay marriage) to be completely boring, and the people I disagree with (anti-gay marriage) fairly interesting. […]

Gay marriage supporters trip over themselves in their hurry to declare that polygamists or polyandrists or other sexual renegades can never be welcome in good society.

As a political tactic, that rush to conformism makes sense, but I fear it's more than just an act. If I learned anything during my long San Francisco sojourn, it's that gays can be every bit as boring and conservative as straights. Now I don't demand that anybody has to become a bomb-thrower just to get the tax breaks and other privileges straight couples enjoy. But it would be nice for somebody to acknowledge that gay marriage would be worth supporting even (or especially) if it did lead to the parade of horribles, or some consenting-adults portion of that parade, that opponents find so scary and so fascinating.

As a native and recent resident of the Golden State, and a confirmed judicial-activism hypocrite, I'm nothing but tickled pink that for a few months anyway our homosexualist friends (and enemies) will be able to marry and receive full recognition for it from state and local governments. At some very basic level denial of marriage is one of the true Last Acceptable Prejudices, and to the extent the guvmint is in the paper-recognition business, I have never understood why a legal prohibition against Heather's Two Mommies marrying isn't the worst kind of discrimination—i.e., state-enforced.

I'm glad to be living in a brave new world in which, as this fascinating New York Times magazine feature details, some young gay people won't even know what it's like to live a furtive life of secrecy and shame. Unless they want to, etc.

Steve Chapman made the case against California judicial activism yesterday.