Gay Marriage

Impromptu Celebration Outside SCOTUS After Gay-Marriage Ruling

Supporters of the Court's decision outnumbered opponents.

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Libertarians join the celebration outside SCOTUS
Brenna Butler / Reason

Throngs of revelers crowded the sidewalk outside the Supreme Court to celebrate this morning's gay-marriage ruling.

Ikeita Cantú stood beaming, a sign raised above her head that read, "Not Just Gay… Ecstatic!!!"  She married her spouse, Carmen Guzmán, in Canada back in 2009.

The biggest sign in support of gay marriage—around five feet tall—was held by Lorence Wenke, a former Republican Michigan state representative. Wenke's sign, shaped like a giant shield, read, "Our Constitution is our shield against Bible based discrimination toward our gay friends & neighbors."

Wenke says he was one of three Republican representatives to vote against the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004, which, he argues, "put discrimination in Michigan's Constitution."

Some conservatives worry the GOP is getting "more libertarian," and as Reason's Peter Suderman has pointed out, that means "Republican candidates are likely to have a harder time generating support by opposing gay marriage, because there are likely to be fewer and fewer Republican voters who oppose it." But his party's evolution hasn't come quickly enough for Wenke. In 2014, he left the GOP for the Libertarian Party, due in part to the former's stance on same-sex marriage.

The Republican Party may finally be in the last throes of opposition to gay marriage, though, per Suderman's piece:

For the last decade, the arguments on both sides have been aired over and over again, and, in the court of public, it seems pretty clear that opponents of gay marriage lost. 

Most Republicans know this, even if they won't always acknowledge it. And that's why my guess is that 2016 will be the last hurrah for significant national political opposition to gay marriage—a final opportunity for some of the candidates to give voice to those who still reject it and still want their rejection to be part of the nation's political identity.

If the crowd outside the Supreme Court this morning was any indication, he's right that opponents of same-sex marriage are dwindling. Amid the dozens of rainbow flags and equality banners, there were only a few signs representing the other side.