by Conor Clarke
As Peter noted earlier today, Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman challenged conservatives who oppose gay marriage on practical grounds to "make simple, concrete predictions about measurable social indicators," now that various states are letting gays wed. According to Chapman, they refused.
But now I see that Maggie Gallagher, President of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, has circled back around to Chapman's question over at the National Review. She writes:
1. In gay-marriage states, a large minority people committed to traditional notions of marriage will feel afraid to speak up for their views, lest they be punished in some way.
2. Public schools will teach about gay marriage.
3. Parents in public schools who object to gay marriage being taught to their children will be told with increasing public firmness that they don't belong in public schools and their views will not be accomodated in any way.
4. Religous institutions will face new legal threats (especially soft litigation threats) that will cause some to close, or modify their missions, to avoid clashing with the government's official views of marriage (which will include the view that opponents are akin to racists for failing to see same-sex couples as married).
5. Support for the idea "the ideal for a child is a married mother and father" will decline.
Oh come on. Is this really the best they can do? First, none of these things are "simple, concrete predictions about measurable social indicators." But there's a bigger problem here: None of them -- with the exception of #4 (where I think Gallagher is just plain wrong) and this vague, unconvincing business of being "punished" in #1 -- are bad things! If this is Gallagher's "parade of horribles," then the battle over gay marriage has been won. Every other item on Gallagher's list amounts to this: As support for gay marriage grows, the public institutions and sentiments that oppose gay marriage will become increasingly marginalized.
To which one might add, Rightfully so.