Not equal rights, but special rights
We know them as our friends and family, our neighbors and our co-workers. We knew the person before we knew they were ‘gay’. It was live and let live. But quiet, personal acceptance by the majority of Americans was deemed to be ‘not enough’ by the activists. Conflict was called for. In response, by 2000, ‘civil unions’ were proposed, but the definition of marriage remained as heterosexual. But that wasn’t enough. In 2008 in Oregon, same-sex couples could register as ‘domestic partners’ giving them some spousal rights of married couples. But that wasn’t enough. The activists stated they couldn’t rest until full ‘marriage equality’ was achieved. Anyone standing in defense of traditional marriage and family, was branded as a ‘hater’, a ‘bigot’ and a ‘homophobe’. The strongest, most cohesive unit in America is not a group, a government agency or a corporation — it is the traditional family. Gay or straight, you most likely grew up in one.
A federal law passed in 1996, DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), defined marriage as between a man and a woman. By 2008, likely in opposition to unrelenting pressure from activists, California voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage, known as ‘Prop 8’. At that time, a total of 31 states had same-sex marriage bans in place.
Since that time we have seen a ‘gay marriage’ celebrated as the topper on a wedding cake in a traditionally family-oriented New Year’s Day parade; Boy Scout troops bullied into acceptance; and city non-discrimination ordinances proposed that would be one more tool (and the lawsuits they would spawn) to bludgeon any opposition into submission.
Demands and demonstrations by the gay activists have become tedious and counter-productive. Public officials pop up and declare, using the ‘bandwagon’ approach: ‘Well, this is the way the world is headed.’ Headed, or being shoved? This is not about ‘equal rights’ but ‘special rights’ (Supreme Court, 1996). They are not seeking ‘equality’ in marriage, but to redefine marriage.
When activists celebrated in the streets in 2013 after the Supreme Court struck down part of DOMA, it was obviously not about ‘equal rights’ — it was about their ‘rights’ and beliefs coming at the expense of mine. And that is where they lost me.