Hell-Bent: Why Gay Marriage Was Inevitable

Aaron D. Wolf
Chronicles Magazine
July 25, 2013


Like it or not, gay marriage is here to stay.  The Supreme Court ruling matters little.  That was the case well before oral arguments were heard, and not for legal reasons.  Yes, the fact that some states had already recognized it played a part, but the real reason gay marriage is now a permanent part of the American landscape is moral.

Most Americans never gave gay marriage a thought until the Supreme Court of Hawaii set the wheels in motion back in 1993, which led three years later to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  Bill Clinton confidently signed DOMA, remarking more than once that his administration had never, ever supported gay marriage.  Before the subversive phrase “marriage equality” came into common parlance, Clinton knew that publicly supporting such a notion would be political suicide.

Barack Obama knew that, too, when he sat on the stage at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church during his first presidential campaign.  Responding to the megachurch pastor’s  question, Obama said, “I believe that marriage is the union between one man and one woman.  Now for me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union.  You know, God’s in the mix.”  Civil unions, he insisted, are more than enough to accommodate gays: Homosexual couples need them so they can visit each other in the hospital.  But again, he added, “I am not someone who promotes same-sex marriage.”  Somehow, long ago in 2008, Obama was able to utter this hate speech and still manage to get elected.

Today, more and more Republican politicians and conservative pundits are pledging their support for “marriage equality.”

Why did the tide turn so quickly?  The answer lies in the way Americans relate to homosexuality in particular, and sexuality in general.

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