Douthat fancies himself surrendering at the Battle of Appomattox in his Civil War Against Homosexual Aggression. No longer can a man stand up straight and proud, look another man in the face, and say, "We don't serve you kind in here." Nor can a fine example of American womanhood look at a young bride in love choosing her wedding dress with her mother and tell her, "Get out of my shop you degenerate whore. God bless!"
We are not really having an argument about same-sex marriage anymore, and on the evidence of Arizona, we’re not having a negotiation. Instead, all that’s left is the timing of the final victory — and for the defeated to find out what settlement the victors will impose.Poor, poor Ross. Conservatives are always honorary Southerners, lamenting the lost glories of times past when they were able to subjugate others by law, thus proving their innate superiority. He already knows that settlement the victors will impose; they will expect everyone to obey secular discrimination laws instead of letting fundamentalists force everyone to obey religious "laws."
If everyone would only obey Douthat's religious laws he wouldn't be weird, left behind and out of touch. You know, uncool. He would be a big man, a religious leader; important, influential. Now he's just a soft white man with a broken sword, forced to kneel before a gay General and admit defeat.
And because he's nothing but a weak, powerless moral scold, he begs and whines for the winners to be generous and give up everything they just fought for.
One possibility is that this division will recede into the cultural background, with marriage joining the long list of topics on which Americans disagree without making a political issue out of it. In this scenario, religious conservatives would essentially be left to promote their view of wedlock within their own institutions, as a kind of dissenting subculture emphasizing gender differences and procreation, while the wider culture declares that love and commitment are enough to make a marriage. And where conflicts arise — in a case where, say, a Mormon caterer or a Catholic photographer objected to working at a same-sex wedding — gay rights supporters would heed the advice of gay marriage’s intellectual progenitor, Andrew Sullivan, and let the dissenters opt out “in the name of their freedom — and ours.”It would take a series of posts to examine the phenomenon that is Andrew Sullivan so let's just say that we see no need to bow to religious laws over secular laws. Douthat admits that religious people persecuted gays in the past but doesn't want people to be too hasty here and actually stop persecuting gays.
So being marginalized, being sued, losing tax-exempt status — this will be uncomfortable, but we should keep perspective and remember our sins, and nobody should call it persecution.But they will anyway; they still are in the South, 150 years later. And Douthat will make sure that everyone knows he is a persecuted minority, continuously beset by a degenerate liberal culture that is trying to marginalize him from existence.
Meanwhile, pressure would be brought to bear wherever the religious subculture brushed up against state power. Religious-affiliated adoption agencies would be closed if they declined to place children with same-sex couples. (This has happened in Massachusetts and Illinois.) Organizations and businesses that promoted the older definition of marriage would face constant procedural harassment, along the lines suggested by the mayors who battled with Chick-fil-A. And, eventually, religious schools and colleges would receive the same treatment as racist holdouts like Bob Jones University, losing access to public funds and seeing their tax-exempt status revoked.Then maybe the religious subculture will learn to keep their noses where they belong, in the religious sphere, instead of constantly attempting to replace secular laws with religious laws.