As E. J. Graff points out in this New Republic article, last week’s decision in California giving marriage rights to same-sex couples offers a lot to be excited about, and not as much for the Democrats to worry about as some of the hand-wringing pundits might lead you to believe. Graff, whose book What is Marriage For? was published by Beacon Press, debunks the idea that anti-gay marriage referenda contributed to Kerry’s loss in 2004, and thinks that the political climate makes a backlash at the polls even less likely this year.
Whatever moral contagion was feared four years ago has not spread. The red states care less and less about married same-sex couples. Young Christian evangelicals, raised on MTV like everyone else in their generation, increasingly favor tolerance toward lesbians and gay men. The new generation of megachurch preachers are stepping away from the antigay bazookas and turning toward other issues instead. I honestly believe that this particular witch hunt has worn itself out.
At the Bilerico Project, Nancy Polikoff, author of Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage, offers another analysis of the California ruling. Polikoff celebrates the decision, but also warns that achieving marriage equality doesn’t go far enough in protecting the rights of all families. For examples of the problems she’s thinking about, read her post about a recent ruling in Maryland, and also be sure to check out her book-related blog.
Nan Mooney, who posted here Monday, has struck a chord with many who can’t understand why achieving the American dream is so much harder now than it was for the previous generation. Read an interview with her at Salon, excerpts from the book at Alternet and Utne,and see how her work is featured in a discussion of middle-class anxiety at Newsweek.