Are Republicans Going Soft on Gay Marriage?

Pity the poor National Organization for Marriage. Their national bus tour for marriage over the summer was a colossal flop… attracting only tens of supporters at each of their twenty-three stops. They drew far more protesters, something the Human Rights Campaign surmised was the real purpose of the tour anyway:

What they’re really trying to do is attract counter-protesters, in hopes that those counter-protesters—fair-minded people who stand up for equality—will create scenes and be disruptive. They’re doing this so they can pepper ongoing lawsuits challenging public disclosure laws with made-up stories of harassment.

At most stops along the way, the tour’s opposition was peaceful, but they did capture at least a couple of protesters yelling at them. But, when an organization takes it upon itself to victimize and demean your community while using religion to justify its bigotry, yelling at them is pretty tame; especially compared to the hateful signs sported by NOM supporters.

Now, NOM is upset that their pet issue may be dropped altogether by the Republican Party. They moan on their blog:

Prediction: after (Ken) Mehlman announced he’s gay, you will see an increasingly coordinated campaign by certain GOP establishment elites to jettison the marriage issue, an issue about which the majority of Americans—and 80 percent of Republicans—agree.

As proof, they point to an article in the Daily Caller which calls the coming-out of powerful Republican mover and shaker Mehlman a big yawner—and applauds Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter for their pro-gay words and deeds:

The actions of Beck and Coulter have outraged social conservatives. But their actions, whether viewed as “pro-gay” or simply “live and let live,” are nothing new for many conservatives who, over the years, have stood for individual rights.

But “live and let live” isn’t a concept the rabidly religious right recognizes when it comes to gay and lesbian people. They may well be small-government Republicans—wishing the government would get out of their pocketbooks and stop trampling their individual right to amass as much wealth as possible by any means necessary. But, they firmly believe the government has a role in marriage, and that role is to preserve what they see as the “God-ordained” mixture of one man and one woman. Although there is a glaring contradiction in that statement, NOM and its advocates won’t ever see it.

Time is not on NOM’s side, however. They keep carping on the numbers—that “activist” judges are ruling against the majority of voters, and that’s just not right. What will they demand though when the majority swings the other way?

Polls are consistently showing that support for marriage equality is growing among Americans. One day soon, the clear majority will be for marriage equality. It will actually be fun to watch NOM and their cohorts demand that judges “do their jobs” and overturn the will of the majority when the tide turns against them.

Candace Chellew-Hodge is the founder/editor of Whosoever: An Online Magazine for GLBT Christians and currently serves as the pastor of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, S.C. She is also the author of Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians (Jossey-Bass, 2008)