The progressive policies that run rampant throughout Western Europe apparently don’t automatically extend to the issue of gay marriage. In its unanimous ruling today, the European Court of Human Rights affirmed that the rights of a gay couple were not violated by Austria’s refusal to allow them to legally marry. The 7-judge panel declared that gay marriage was not a universal right and that each European country was free to determine what type of legal recognition to offer gay and lesbian couples.
Both sides of the gay marriage conflict are claiming a victory from this ruling. But the bottom line is that each country within the Council of Europe, a 47-member organization, is free to set their own policies. The court steered clear of slamming Austria since such a pro-gay marriage ruling would have had negative ramifications on the Council itself. Many eastern European countries within the Council are not running with the gung-ho gay rights game plan; attempting to force this social issue down their throats is viewed as a non-starter for European unity.
The declaration that gay marriage is not a universal right should give pause to our so-called gay advocacy groups here in the USA who have turned their backs on civil partnerships as the foundational bulwarks for gay rights. Civil partnerships, once seen as a major advance for the gay community, are now perceived by many gays as tarnished tokens of second class status.
But can the gay marriage campaign really be won in the United States? The long term resources needed to wage a gay marriage war in every state legislature over a period of many years would take a steady stream of dedicated foot soldiers and a perpetual flow of cash through the campaign coffers. But neither warriors nor money will guarantee victory. To win such an extended and drawn out battle would require front and center attention from the media over the course of years and a public that is ultimately sympathetic to the issue.
It would seem that the Gay Marriage gang in the US is indeed counting on just such a demographics victory to ultimately win the day. Their reasoning goes like this: as the older voters die off, they will be replaced by a younger more tolerant crowd who won’t give a damn about the gay marriage issue one way or the other. With the media in our back pockets and the school systems doing their best to spread the gay word, and of course, with some serious application of strong-arm tactics against our opponents, well, how could we not see the dawn of a new day?
Unfortunately, the Gay Marriage marathon is counting on a culture that proclaims liberal business as usual, ad infinitum. They see a Left-wing juggernaut perpetually rolling across the global landscape bringing its bath house frivolity to every nook and cranny of civilization. But such a vision is two-dimensional and naive and fails to fathom the complex chaos of cultural demographics. If we’re banking on a much more liberal culture in ten years time, perhaps we should hedge our investment a bit. Do we really believe that the only resistance to gay rights, let alone gay marriage, will be found in the minds of white evangelical Americans? Are we not aware of the influx of immigrants, both legal and illegal, flowing into the American cultural milieu, many, if not most, bringing with them a cultural mindset that is militantly oriented toward the traditional family? Do we not sense the cultural conservatism of Latin machismo and the reactionary harshness of Muslim orthodoxy? Can gays really believe that the progressive multicultural grand scheme won’t backfire in our faces, blistering us with the fragments of our hard fought freedoms?
In ten years time who knows what issues and challenges will be facing our nation’s citizens. By then, Americans may be wholly sick and tired of the gay marriage marketing campaign. And as any PR pro will tell you, overexposure is not a good thing. Neither is the use of bullyboy tactics directed against ordinary folks who look like they stepped out of a Norman Rockwell print. And as America becomes more multicultural, how will a predominately white gay political movement really be perceived by those struggling Third World eyes among us?
Well, time will tell. But when the next gay initiative hits a ballot box near you, don’t be surprised if a weary electorate turns a deaf ear to this marriage proposal, hearing instead only the noisome whine of a pampered and self-centered suitor.