Marriage Equality: Fears of Those on History’s Wrong Side

At the blog The Story So Far, my friend Bruce Garrett adds his thoughts to those AF&O posted earlier re: the Christian Science Monitor‘s Patchwork Nation project and what it reveals about views regarding marriage equality and how they are evolving. Addressing the matter of why the struggle for equality has turned into such a “scorched-earth battle,” Bruce nails it:

[O]nce people see they’ve been lied to about the Homosexual Menace, the whole house of cards falls apart.  It isn’t society sliding into sexual anarchy the homophobes have been afraid of.  It’s the see-it-with-your-own-two-eyes realization that bringing same sex couples into the fold actually strengthens communities that they never, at any cost, wanted people to behold.

For generations they have put knives into our hearts so they could feel righteous.  For generations they have taken what should be one of this life’s most perfect joys…falling in love, and being loved in return…and turned it into a nightmare for this one small portion of the human family.  They did it so they wouldn’t have to look at the barren wasteland they’d made of their own stone cold hearts.  They did it so they could have scapegoats for every cheapshit character flaw of their own.  They turned their gay neighbors into monsters, so they wouldn’t have to confront the monsters staring back at them in the bathroom mirror.  Andrew Sullivan and Damon Linker have been staring in wonder at the depth of the fear in Rod Dreher’s writing on the subject of same-sex marriage.  But they have it all wrong.  It isn’t change Dreher is afraid of.  It isn’t the fear that civilization may slide into sexual anarchy that grips him.  It’s being held responsible for all those thousands upon thousands of broken hearts and murdered hopes and dreams.  Why did they do it?  Why?  Why was it necessary to put a knife into the hearts of so many innocent people?  Ultimately, we may never know precisely why.  Why do people hate?  Why does hate have such power over some of us, and not others?  Can we ever really answer that question?  But you need to understand what Dreher and his kind fear isn’t the Homosexual Menace, or Sexual Anarchy or The Fall Of Western Civilization, but that common, decent people will stop seeing monsters when they look at their gay neighbors, and instead see who the real monsters were in this unmitigated human tragedy.

There’s the fear.  There’s the bottomless fear.  Right there.

Especially when they also consider society’s deteriorating acceptance of their supremacy and their rules. Must be tough to be so far on the wrong sides of both decency and history.


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