Is gay marriage good or bad for America?

Gay Marriage by Mike Licht for Flickr =
Gay Marriage by Mike Licht for Flickr =

OCALA, Fla., October 18, 2014 — Same-sex marriage is legal in 31 states now.

Many of today’s adolescents are growing up in a culture where gay marriage is either accepted as the latest phase of the Civil Rights Movement or well-established law not worth taking a second glance at.

It is difficult to imagine that for those only ten years older, same-sex marriage is anything but set in stone.

As late as 2008, the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination — Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — publicly opposed same-sex marriage. Just four years before, a nationwide general election was won by steadfast opposition to same-sex marriage and other non-traditional legal unions. In 2000, everyone who wasn’t a fringe activist seemed satisfied with the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed by a conservative Republican Congress and signed into law by center-left Democrat Bill Clinton.

Also during the early 2000s, engaging in a romantic relationship with another of the same sex could easily have resulted in a limited career throughout white collar America. Just a decade prior, it was forbidden to simply be homosexual if one joined the U.S. Military. In the 1980s, San Francisco’s voters opposed measures to legalize same-sex partnerships. During the unrepentantly progressive 1970s, the socially libertine stronghold of Boulder, Colorado overwhelmingly rejected same-sex marriage.

Considering all of this, has the sudden legality of same-sex marriage been a positive development for American society?

Fred Karger says yes. He is career political operative who rose to prominence by consulting the campaigns of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole. His most famous cause, though, is for marriage equality. Karger brought much attention to it when running for the GOP’s presidential nomination during the 2012 primaries. In doing so, he became America’s first openly gay candidate for the presidency.

“(T)he fight for marriage equality has been a long one,” Karger said earlier this month on Cotto & Company. “It’s rapidly accelerated. I go back to President Clinton’s speech to the Human Rights Campaign back in, I think, ’93 or ’94. He was the first sitting president to speak to a gay gathering … and he’s the one who said, ‘Everyone in this room and everyone around the country who is gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered needs to come out to your friends and your family and your coworkers. Only then will things change.’

“That actually very much personally resonated with me … I felt like I needed to come out. I’d been gay my whole life; I kept it very much a secret.”

Dr. Paul Gottfried has very different views. The recently retired Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Greater Lancaster’s Elizabethtown College is an outspoken conservative. His observations of the human condition have generated both accolades and animosity. Having befriended such figures as Richard Nixon and Herbert Marcuse, it should be no surprise that the Doctor’s opinions are not always easy to pin down.

“(I)t is inevitable that we will get gay marriage, because the courts will make sure we get it, and because the media will crucify anyone who does not support it,” Gottfried surmised, also on Cotto & Company. “I’m thinking of what happened in Chicago [where] a Christian businessman who owned Chick-fil-A had the audacity to suggest that, as a Christian, he could not accept gay marriage, at which point the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, said that he would drive this man out of the city. Never mind his civil rights as an American — he would drive him out of the city.

“The fanaticism of the pro-gay forces … is such that I have no doubt that they will prevail, particularly given the weakness of Republicans to stand their ground for traditional morality.”

Whether one supports same-sex marriage or not, the necessity to respect others’ perspectives cannot be understated.

In the past, antigay forces exerted not just political, but social supremacy over the LGBT community. With the tables having turned, it seems that many formerly oppressed have no qualms about becoming the very individuals they once so hated.

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  • guest

    Thanks for this interesting article.

  • Michael

    Marriage as all studies show is good for the individual, society, children and the nation. Therefore, it is only common sense that all these benefits would also apply to loving same sex families and their children. Also Chick-Fil-A was not “crucified” for its owner’s “suggestion” about same-sex marriage. It was criticized because he donated millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations that work tirelessly to take away fundamental rights from gay taxpayers. Last time I checked, freedom of speech and religion applies to everyone including those opposing the perverting of the Constitution to endorse bigotry.

    • Louis E.

      Persons in “same sex families” are harmed by being in them,and the state owes them help getting OUT of those situations.

      • mainemusclex2

        And your evidence exists where else but in your mind?

        Government intrusion much?

        • Louis E.

          Help doesn’t have to be intrusive,but the public policy needs to be in favor of same-sex couples splitting.

  • mainemusclex2

    Perhaps it is best the Dr. Gottfried has retired in that in all his years in academia, he appears never to have realized:

    The following is from the United States Supreme Court case of Lucas v. Forty-Fourth Gen. Assembly

    “An individual’s constitutionally protected right … cannot be denied even by a vote of a majority of a State’s electorate, if the [law] adopted by the voters fails to measure up to the requirements of the Equal Protection Clause. Manifestly, the fact that [a law] is adopted in a popular referendum is insufficient to sustain its constitutionality or to induce a court of equity to refuse to act. As stated by this Court in West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, “One’s right to life, liberty, and property . . . and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

    “A citizen’s constitutional rights can hardly be infringed simply because a majority of the people choose that it be. We hold that the fact that a challenged [law] was approved by the electorate is without federal constitutional significance if the scheme adopted fails to satisfy the basic requirements of the Equal Protection Clause.”

    • Louis E.

      The right to marriage must exist within the confines of the definition of marriage,and unless that definition requires opposite-sex partners the existence of marriage has no rational basis.To claim that those who refuse to qualify for a license are no less entitled to that license than those who do qualify was never the intention of the framers of the Equal Protection Clause,and all court decisions that construe protection of homosexuals as persons to preclude public policy justly recognizing the vastly greater importance to humanity of opposite-sex relationships over same-sex sexual relationships are entirely incorrect and harmful.

      I am a non-religious lifelong Democrat.

  • Jen Eral

    It’s also important to remember that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t trace to the Federalist Papers, but to Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights.