BY GEORGE WEIGEL
No small part of the extraordinary success of the pro–“gay marriage” movement has been its ability to sell the idea that this really is No Big Deal. Same-sex-attracted men and women, the claim goes, simply want what other people want — stable, loving relationships, in which responsibility is assumed for those for whom we care. When the state recognizes that, all will be well, calm will prevail, and we can all get on with our lives.
It’s a culturally powerful argument, especially when wrapped in the mantle of the classic civil-rights movement, and the polling numbers suggest that a lot of people who couldn’t have imagined “same-sex marriage” even five years ago have been persuaded. Yet the notion that agitations would stop when “gay marriage” was legalized from sea to shining sea never made a lot of sense, not least because that assurance abstracted the “gay marriage” argument from its deeper context, which was, is, and always will be the sexual revolution and its fierce, Jacobin determination to bend, break, and then grind into the dust the proponents of a biblically based sexual ethics, a natural-law-based sexual ethics, or both.
In the realm of the law, this means that the proponents of “gay marriage” (and the proponents of the sexual revolution more broadly construed) are like sharks: They have to keep moving forward (as they understand forward progress) to survive. Thus the shrewder advocates of “same-sex marriage” are already looking for another case to bring into the federal judicial shooting gallery, a case that will put “gay marriage” on a firmer constitutional footing than the conceptual and jurisprudential Jell-O of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges — a stronger foundation that will give LGBT advocates a chance to get “sexual orientation” explicitly identified as the equivalent of race, and thus subject to “strict scrutiny,” for purposes of civil-rights law. Meanwhile, the more advanced skirmishers in this war against traditional moral norms are already exploring the possibilities of gaining legal sanction for polygamy. A campaign to defend adult incest (and “consensual” sex with children) cannot be far over the horizon.
And then there’s the culture-war side of post-Obergefell America.