Kaus on Gay Marriage

Friday, October 27, 2006

Kaus on Gay Marriage

Of the recent New Jersey same-sex marriage ruling, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
The court, by the way, is not being activist. It had no logical option but to apply its equal protection clause to everybody.
Which prompted Mickey Kaus at Slate.com to make this argument:
... the breathtaking speed with which this sort of radical cultural change has gone from being unmentioned to being a litmus test for all rational people is one of the things that worries ordinary voters and turns them into cultural conservatives even though, were activists like Sullivan a little less self-righteous and condescending ("no logical option") these voters might be persuaded to try worthy experiments like gay unions and gay marriage.
Being a resident of Los Angeles must give Kaus tremendous insights into what "worries ordinary voters" who are "cultural conservatives."

It turns out, says Kaus, that these anti-gay-marriage cultural conservatives are surprisingly open-minded. They might really embrace gay marriage were they not visiting Andrew Sullivan's website and feeling talked down to. (Do most of these "ordinary" people even know who Andrew Sullivan is?)

I guess all of those culturally conservative men in the early 20th century who opposed women's suffrage were, deep down, quite open to it; they simply felt the suffragettes were speaking to them in a condescending tone.

I also take issue with Kaus's reference to the "breathtaking speed" with which gay marriage has gone "from being unmentioned" to the current state of affairs. Perhaps 35 years qualifies as "breathtaking speed" in Kaus's world, but I don't think it does in most people's world.

Bigotry and discrimination do not deserve a shelf life.

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