Today’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges represents the culmination of a perfectly executed public-relations campaign.
It is impossible not to be impressed by what this activist-driven effort accomplished—I mean in real terms, not the unserious victory slogans of the campaign itself.
In no particular order, it:
1. Successfully and fundamentally transformed the definition of “marriage,” and did so in a way that portrayed efforts to preserve traditional marriage as the novelty, rather than as the millennia-old status quo.
2. Successfully convinced a critical mass of the public that there is only one side in this debate, despite the fact that the side claiming the monopoly had only existed in any meaningful form for perhaps 20 years.
3. Successfully convinced a critical mass of the public that race and sexual orientation are directly analogous.
4. Successfully convinced a critical mass of the public (and jurists) that there is no possible argument against gay marriage—to the point where federal judges found that not permitting same-sex marriage is definitionally irrational, and had prominent left-leaning outlets calling the dissents simply “crazy.”
5. Successfully branded opponents as simple “bigots” for daring to hold a different view on a live political issue, going so far as to take punitive action against those who did not adopt the “correct” viewpoint.
6. Successfully portrayed the battle as, literally, love versus hate.
7. Successfully accomplished all of the above in about a decade.
My God, the magnitude of it is staggering.
Agree or disagree with the result, the sheer, total dominance with which their opposition was dealt defeat after defeat, constantly being depicted as evil and intellectually bankrupt—even when most of the public was still in favor of traditional marriage—is incredible.
How did this happen?