In yesterday’s Times, Frank Rich wrote a reasoned, “over it” commentary on the Right’s lackluster response to the marriage equality victories in Iowa and Vermont. Rich begins with a critique of NOM’s spoof-ready commercial against gay marriage, and then builds his argument to include the lack of media attention from conservative outlet Fox news and the abrupt about-face of religious leaders like Rick Warren and conservative talking head, Dr. Laura Schlesigner.
It seems to me that the debate is shifting from “Should gay marriage be legalized?” to a larger dialogue about the separation of church and state. Beneath all the strong emotions of both the most liberal folks and the most conservative ideologues has been a resistance to disseminate the real meat of the debate: that marriage is a civil right, separate from the religious institution so narrowly focused upon.
Reminds me of the recent words of Sean Penn at the Oscars, chiding the bigots who continue to rail against gay marriage. “For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight,” said Penn, “I think it’s a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect on their great shame and their shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that support.”