Marriage Equality’s Red State Test

YouGov maps public opinion on marriage equality state-by-state:

Marriage Map

After this week’s SCOTUS news, Dale Carpenter takes note that “gay couples will be able to wed for the first time on an ongoing basis, and have their marriages officially recognized, in politically red states.” He uses Oklahoma as an example:

Fifty-three percent of Oklahomans are evangelical Christians, 16% are mainline Protestants, and 13% are Catholics. Oklahoma is the 11th most church-going state, although it’s still behind new gay-marriage jurisdictions like Utah (5th), North Carolina (tied for 7th), and South Carolina (tied for 1st). A recent poll showed that two-thirds of Oklahomans strongly oppose (58%) or somewhat oppose (8%) gay marriage. The state’s gay-marriage ban passed with 76% of the vote ten years ago, which suggests that change is coming very slowly in some parts of the country.

Among others, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins predicts a watershed moment of resistance ahead, followed by an erosion of support for same-sex marriage itself …

Dale doesn’t buy it – and neither do I. Many opponents of marriage equality have responded with civility:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which six years ago played an important role in supporting California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage known as Proposition 8, said that the new legal landscape in Utah did not affect its belief that “only a marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God.” “Nevertheless, respectful coexistence is possible with those with differing values,” the church said in a statement. “As far as the civil law is concerned, the courts have spoken.”

Nonetheless, the arrival of marriage equality in deeply red states is a new thing, and will for a while revive some of the culture war polarization of the 2000s. Already, you have Mike Huckabee going off the deep end in response to the court’s inactivism:

It is shocking that many elected officials, attorneys and judges think that a court ruling is the ‘final word,’. It most certainly is not. The courts are one branch of government, and equal to the other two, but not superior to either and certainly not to both. Even if the other two branches agree with the ruling, the people’s representatives have to pass enabling legislation to authorize same sex marriage, and the President (or Governor in the case of the state) has to sign it. Otherwise, it remains the court’s opinion. It is NOT the ‘law of the land’ as is often heralded.

Er, yes it is. But the impulse to become George Wallace didn’t come from nowhere. Ted Cruz knows this, which is why he may well ride the winning issue of 2004 in the GOP primaries. I think what we have to emphasize in this social transition is support for religious liberty, toleration of each other, and a focus on the actual reality that will now unfold: the simple fact that a tiny minority is now granted equality in a core human right long since denied them, and that, so far as everyone else is concerned, virtually nothing will change.

In response to paranoia, reason; in the face of hatred, calm; at the prospect of victory, magnanimity; and in the moment of our liberation, joy.