By now anyone who has some social media account should be aware, the ubiquitous LGBT rainbow and the “Love Wins” meme is all the rage. I pride myself on having a wide variety of friends politically speaking, but I was unaware so many of them were so pro-same sex marriage. By the number of profile picture changes from selfies to rainbow flags, rainbows with hearts emblazoned with “Love Wins” to actual selfies colored like the rainbow (a unique feature brought to you by Facebook), one would think that 99% of America supports gay marriage. In fact, the White House was engulfed in those rainbow lights as was the Empire State Building and Niagra Falls, to name a few.
The LGBT community notes that the recent Supreme Court decision would not have been met with such acceptance if not for a sea change in American attitudes towards same sex marriage and homosexuality in general. Although that may be true, they could not prove it where it counts. Results of Gallup or Pew Research polls are not legal referendums; votes at the ballot box are.
The whole idea of “Love Wins” is predicated upon the negative/opposite in this case. If the Supreme Court had ruled 5-4 in favor of Michigan and the other petitioner states, would “hate” be the “winner?” In that scenario would we see broken hearts with the words “Love Loses?” If the Supreme Court had decided the other way, I doubt supporters of traditional marriage would be engaging in celebratory back-slapping and traditional marriage pride parades.
Buried within Kennedy’s decision, if one can slog through its “trying to be memorable” language (as Scalia phrased it), a couple of things stand out. The first is the inherent undercurrent of animus- and animus only- being the reason there are objections to same sex marriage. If one reads the transcript of the oral argument or listened to the audio, nowhere in Michigan’s argument was hatred or animus towards gays the reason for defending their law. Of the many people I know who do not support same sex marriage, hatred or animus towards gays is nowhere to be found.
While I am quite sure there are a number of people who do have an animus towards gays or towards homosexuality, that reasoning was nowhere to be found in these cases. Hence, instead of analyzing the arguments based on the legal and constitutional merits, it was decided on emotion. Practically every Left wing website has reprinted the final paragraph of Kennedy’s opinion as if it will go down in history as one of the greatest pieces of constitutional jurisprudence. Roger Taney’s Dred Scott Decision made more legal and constitutional sense than Kennedy’s opinion here.
This decision had nothing to do with dignity, spirituality, or love. There is no constitutional right to love, yet Kennedy’s opinion and the public’s positive reaction to it has totally skewed the conversation resulting in an “the ends justifies the means” mentality. Who cares how we got to the outcome as long as we reached that outcome? The “means” is all the difference in the world.
My youngest daughter, in all her youthful righteous indignation, is an unqualified supporter of gay rights and same sex marriage. When she asked what was my problem with the decision, it did not take much thought to frame a response. Perhaps if New Jersey were to place the question on the ballot tomorrow, I may very well vote for gay marriage although I am unsure. But I do know that that option has now been taken from me and a wide swath of America at the stroke of a pen and five Supreme Court Justices.
This case had absolutely nothing to do with the love between two consenting adults despite their sex, nor did it have anything to do with a hatred of homosexuality and an animus towards gay marriage. These cases were about the democratic process. Voices on either side of the issue were not being shouted down. Let me rephrase that: despite attempts by the more radical gay activists to shout down gay marriage opponents, voices on both sides still fueled the debate. That is called “democracy.” And it is a debate a mere 12 years old and likely to be waged into the future as the legacy of Roe vs. Wade has proven.
So while people change their Facebook profile picture and hoist the rainbow flag of gay rights, perhaps a better logo should be a broken Constitution with the words “Democracy loses” superimposed over it. That is the unfortunate and true legacy of Kennedy’s majority opinion- love had nothing to do with it.