The Corner

On the Fence about Marriage and Intimdated

An e-mail:

Your article about marriage struck a chord with me, mainly when you wrote about the brutal tactics employed against defenders of traditional marriage. I’m 26 years old and my generation holds very strong views on this topic… in my experience, mostly in support of same-sex marriage. Personally, I’m on the fence about it. But for most people my age, that is not good enough. The peer pressure to support gay marriage is enormous. Which is precisely why I refuse to give my (socially mandatory in many circles) full-throated support to it. When friends tell me it’s a civil right and denying gays their “universal right to marriage” is the same as forbidding whites and blacks to marry, it makes my skin crawl . . . but I don’t know how to argue against these points. I just know deep down there’s something fishy about the arguments.

The way defenders of traditional marriage are treated appalls me, but the reason is simple. Gay marriage activists have dehumanized them totally in their own minds, which of course justifies anything. There can be no debate; for so many people I know, the “universal right to marriage” is as settled as the law of gravity, and anyone who disagrees is evil. A big reason why I’m on the fence is because there is only one “legitimate” opinion among my peers and supporting same-sex marriage is meaningless when it’s the only choice and the alternative is to be called a bigot. In the climate I live in, even to say, “Maybe they have a point” is risky and an easy way to lose a friend. I admire the courage of those on your side of the issue who take the stand publicly and accept all the heat that goes with it.

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