Once again, the fundies have locked and loaded the only weapons they have, hate and fear, and brought them to bear in Maine, where a marriage equality vote went the wrong way yesterday. Naturally, this is disappointing for those of us who support love and families regardless of such details as race, creed, or sexual preference, and oppose ignorant discrimination based on fearing the wrath of an invisible magic man in the sky.
But I see some encouragement here. Note that the hate vote was only 53%. I think only ten years ago it might have been upwards of 70% or even 80%. Opening hearts and minds to accepting that, first, women, and then blacks and other racial minorities, deserved equality under the law took a huge cultural sea change. (And of course I'm talking across a broad base here, not just the issue of marriage. When you get right down to it, movements like women's suffrage and the right to have birth control, and the rights of African Americans to sit wherever the fuck they pleased on the bus, are essentially the very same fight as the GLBT marriage fight: it's about equality, period.) It will take an even bigger sea change for our culture at large to begin to accept gay marriage, primarily because, of all the equality fights down the years, this one is tricky because it's going against centuries of religious programming that gays and lesbians are the vilest kinds of hellbound sinners alive.
Progress is happening faster than you might think. Remember the article from just a few days back, reporting the rise of secularism among New England states, and the frustration of evangelicals in those states. I suspect that it may just take a generational shift to move more people in the mainstream of America towards the side of marriage equality. After all, one huge factor that has been shown to be alienating younger people today from their parents' traditional Christian faith is this constant hammering of the "Get The Fags!" drum on the part of Christians just about everywhere. As these older generations pass on, and more open-minded young people grow up and adopt tolerant secular attitudes, things will shift.
So yeah, marriage equality fighters, the downside is that I am suggesting it may not be until the '20s or '30s before widespread legalization of gay marriage becomes a reality in America. But really, despite yesterday's election setback — again, by not nearly as large a margin as it could have been — the momentum is with you. For GLBT marriage equality, it's only a matter of time. It'll happen. Not this year. But it will.