Eugene Robsinson says it is time for Obama to support it, and the New England states (plus Iowa) are already heading down that path.
I have been fascinated to watch this story change. From 2004 when the specter of gay marriage helped get religious conservatives to the polls, to the defeat of gay marriage in supposedly liberal California, the issue seemed to be some kind of third-rail for American culture. But as states have slowly allowed it, Americans, I think, have seen that it has not led to some kind of catastrophic scenario, and it is getting harder to scare people about gays marrying leading to social disorder or decay. It is a hot button issue, to be sure, as several recent controversies prove.
First, was the "hate crimes" legislation before congress. The Family Research Council sent out all sorts of scary mailings telling people that if this bill passed, it would make pastors in the US subject to criminal prosecution if they preach against homosexuality. I read the bill in question, and it is specifically addressed to physical violence, and also specifically and explicitly says that the bill would not limit First Amendment protected free speech. We can argue about the idea of "hate crimes" but shouldn't that argument at least be on the merits, and not on some fantasy of the right?
Second, was this bizarre storyline about Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who, I guess, spoke out against gay marriage in her pageant. The response was predictable and stupid, with the left calling her a bigot and pointing to mildly risque modeling photos the young woman took years ago as proof of her hypocrisy (whatever) and the right (along with Ms. Prejean) claiming that this was just an attack on her Christian faith. (I like Feministing's take on the photos as an attempt to fight homophobia by invoking the misogyny of shaming Ms Prejean as some kind of "slut.")
Perhaps it is time for us to move past the beauty pageants, for one thing. But that is for another time, I guess.
Here are my predictions. 1) Gay marriage will happen. I think it is just a matter of time.
2) The right wing will be apoplectic and try to scare people with images of open fornication in public and human's marrying animals, but gay marriage will happen.
3) The right will even threaten to secede, or invoke "nullification." Oops, they are already doing that over a 3% tax increase.
4) Gay marriage will not change America one bit, except to perhaps communicate that we can move past this. Straight people will still get married and divorced in large numbers. The right will either cede this and start focusing on the incredibly high divorce rate of its own people, or it will beat itself into further irrelevance by railing against that gay couple down the block who are just about the best neighbors you could ask for.
Can't we all just get along? :)