Why the Gay Marriage Fight Is Over
If the Republican Party wants a future, it's time for them to embrace gay marriage.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority in the Supreme Court's decision, arguing gay couples should "not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
According to recent Pew polling, 57% of Americans join Kennedy in supporting gay marriage, as does a whopping 73% of Millennials -- including more than 60% of young Republicans.
With these kinds of numbers, the GOP can all but guarantee losing the White House in 2016 if it keeps fighting against gay marriage. It's a deal-breaker for Millennials and Generation-Xers, and the issue is making the thought of voting for a Republican president an anathema for millions of swing-state voters.
The Party must decide if gay marriage is really the sword it wants to fall on. Ultimately, Republicans must decide if we want to become a permanent minority party.
Only 34% of Republicans support gay marriage, but as a conservative Catholic, I have three reasons to accept federal gay marriage -- and other conservatives might want to take a look.
First, as conservatives, we're the ones who are supposed to believe in small, limited government not intruding in our personal affairs. The government should not force religious values on the country. Why not allow gays to marry in the civil sense, as long as your religion isn't compelled to participate in it?
Even if you're opposed on religious grounds, it is immensely reasonable to support the rights of gays to enjoy the secular and legal benefits of marriage, as long as the government doesn't require churches to bless such unions.
Second, there are no Constitutional grounds that this decision infringes upon our First Amendment religious rights. What the Court did is separate the Sacrament of Matrimony from the civil marriage. While granting gays the right to marry legally, the Court decision does not require religious ministers to perform same-sex marriages, nor does it stop them from exercising their right to speak out against it.
Consider divorce: Catholic priests are not compelled to perform remarriages of couples after divorce, nor are they compelled to marry couples who aren't Catholic. The gay marriage issue is really no different. As long as no one is forcing churches to recognize gay marriages or marriages after divorce, religious freedom remains intact.
Third, unlike the abortion debate where real human lives are at risk, gay marriage does not harm anyone. And, while American's views of abortion have remained polarized, with a growing number of people now against late term abortions, support of gay marriage has been rising. It seems to be a losing proposition to continue fighting against gay marriage.
Here are the simple questions conservatives need to ask themselves: Is opposing gay marriage worth losing the battle on the national debt? Is opposing gay marriage worth higher taxes? Is opposing gay marriage worth an open border? Is opposing gay marriage worth allowing the EPA to kill more jobs? Is opposing gay marriage worth more poverty?
If conservatives want win national elections in 2016 and beyond, it is time to strike an accord with the gay rights movement, accept the Supreme Court's ruling, and open the tent to be more inclusive.