Althouse makes marriage equality opponent Dean Broyles's argument clearer:

Let me see if I can make Broyles's point. I think he means to say that if same-sex marriage remains a legal right, enshrined in state constitutional law, then homosexual relationships will come to be regarded normal and good, and, consequently, anyone who objects to them will start to look like a bigot who should not be permitted to have his way. Thus, in order to preserve the right to discriminate against gay people and to keep schools from teaching children that gay couples are perfectly nice and so forth -- all things Broyles wants -- it's important to outlaw gay marriage, because it will be a powerful force in changing perceptions about gay people and those who think gay people are doing something terribly wrong.

Yes! That's it.

One reason I favor marriage equality is that the simple public fact of gay married couples will in itself teach something about the reality of gay people and our lives - without any school or parent having to say a thing. It gives us a way to talk about gay couples for the first time in human history without talking about sex acts. Now, there's nothing wrong with sodomy, in my view. But it no more defines gay people than it defines straight people (and straight people's sex lives are now overwhelmingly sodomitic in nature - i.e. non-reproductive).

Or to put it in a way that might appeal to social conservatives: grant marriage equality and we can stop talking about homosexuality. We can start talking about love and friendship and commitment and family - for gays and straights. We can leave this horrible identity politics division behind. To give one simple example. I have never sat down with my niece and nephew, who are nine and twelve, and told them I am gay. But they were both in our wedding, along with my husband's family's children. They see me and Aaron for who we are - all of us, defined by all we do and are. They know we are gay but we never had to say so. And there is nothing more moving than hearing my nephew talk of "uncle Aaron." 

(Photo: the two ring-bearers at my wedding.)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.