Why? Well, because we lost an election and, more importantly, because Roger L. Simon favors gay marriage. As he explains:
To be clear, I am quite sympathetic to the social conservative argument on abortion. Life, it appears to me, does begin at the moment of conception. (I can’t think of another time.) And at whatever phase of pregnancy an abortion occurs, a choice must be made between human lives, a horrible, and perforce immoral, situation.
I am less sympathetic to the social conservative position on same-sex marriage, which seems to me a civil rights issue.
What would make him happy?
To begin with, social conservatives will be vastly more successful at having their views accepted if they make their case extrinsic of government.
("Extrinsic", to all you hill folk who is a-havin' kin what learnt their letters read this to you, is a fancy twenty dollar word what means "outside". Like where y'all keep the chickens and the hogs. YEEHAW!!!)
Anyway, his basic argument is that it is hypocritical for the party of liberty and small government to favor a positive, assertive role for government in marriage and that attempting to do so loses votes. That, in principle, "social issues, whatever your position, are best dealt with outside the governmental realm". Sounds very reasonable, except:
I realize this is an unattainable goal and that government will always intrude in our private lives to some degree, but we must fight against it as much as possible for several reasons.
Got that? It's unattainable, but you should do it anyway because of principle, hypocrisy, votes, and their effect on optics…or something.
In many ways Simon's argument sounds very much like other supposedly "contrarian" positions taken up by some conservatives/Libertarians on pet issues (*cough*ObamaSpace*cough*). That is, use an ideological argument disguised as practical reasoning as a way to try to shame those in their own political camp who disagree with them on one issue into agreeing to the policy they've been advocating for years. If you fail to come around and agree with their position, then you are a big, fat hypocrite and statist.
In the process of his conversion from decades and decades of standard Hollywood Liberalism to conservatism, Simon may have missed learning that, unlike Liberals, conservatives can't get away with merely paying lip-service to tolerance of varying ideas. There are few social issues on which SoCons and I would agree, including government's role in marriage, but just because I disagree doesn't make their position invalid. It may be that Simon hasn't shaken all of his Liberal past and can't completely understand the kind of tolerance I'm talking about.
Simon attempts to further bolster his position with a "heavy dose of reality":
Unlike abortion, where public opinion is going in the social conservative direction for various reasons (including sonograms), on gay marriage, it’s the fourth quarter, the score is about 80-0 and you’re on the your own five yard line with two minutes to go.
De facto gay marriages have existed in significant numbers in every one of our major cities and a lot of our suburbs for decades. Every year, the vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage is greater, recently winning in several states, and is likely to increase since the young vastly favor it. If you don’t think it’s going to be a fait accompli in the Western world in twenty-five years (probably considerably sooner), you’re living in cloud-cuckoo-land.
It would be nice if he'd include some actual references to prove these assertions. A handful of states where gay marriages has been made explicitly legal versus thirty-two states where a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman has been put to a vote and of those thirty-two states, thirty have passed the amendment and we're supposed to listen to football analogies and think we're living in "cloud-cuckoo-land"? This is the practical part of his argument which is supposed to convince social conservatives to surrender?
Here's a heavy dose of reality for Hollywood script writer Roger L. Simon: the Left lies and lies and then lies some more, especially when it comes to pet identity-politics social "justice" issues. Those who scream the loudest about "civil rights" are those who care the least–they couldn't care less whether Adam and Steve or Joan and Jane get married. What they care about is dismantling the existing social structure in order to replace it with the Marxist one they favor. The one with perpetual cultural warfare. The one where they think they're going to gain power and profit.
But let's entertain Simon's suggestion for a second and ask what's in it for social conservatives? Will they get credit with voters? Like Hell they will. The Left will declare victory and the media will, parrot-like, repeat their version of the story ad nauseum. Leftists do not understand how to be gracious in victory and if Simon has not figured that out yet, he needs to pay closer attention. Not only will social conservatives not get credit for doing the "right thing", but they will be punished further with the inevitable lawsuits that will follow. Lawsuits which will ensure that all religious institutions, regardless of their conscience, will perform gay marriages. If Mr. Simon doesn't believe that, he needs to review a little something called the "contraception mandate".
Unlike Roger L. Simon, social conservatives understand these things and, having been given basically no reassurance that there will be any kind of conscience exception when it comes to gay marriage, they're not going to fall for his spate of concern trolling.
With friends like these…etc, etc…
California's SB 1172, slated to become effective January 1 and prohibiting licensed therapists from performing what is known variously as sexual conversion therapy, reparative therapy, or sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) on minors under the age of 18. Senior District Judge William Shubb, in an opinion issued late yesterday in Welch v. Brown, has issued a temporary injunction of the statute.
If someone tells me that they're unequivocally 100% gay, I believe them. If someone tells me that they've always known that they're unequivocally 100% gay, I still believe them. I have no objective way to disprove them. In that spirit, I think that Pray The Gay Away is futile and possibly damaging.
OTOH, anyone who has any contact with public education and popular culture knows that both the ideas of "questioning" and the Kinsey spectrum are presented as absolute truths. If you go to college, there's even social pressure, from peers and instructors alike, to question your sexuality and bonus points if you have a major crisis over it. After all, how can you possibly know that you're not at least a little bit gay if you've never tried it?
Here's an offer of compromise to Senator Lieu: he can have his anti-Pray The Gay Away law if he will vote for a companion law which will bar academics from looking with shocked disbelief and then grilling for hours youths who tell them that they are 100% heterosexual.
First, as Todd Hartch wrote in Public Discourse two years ago, conservative professors and faculty members must end their “Ostpolitik” and begin defending the truth on America’s campuses.
Second, without conservative voices in positions of authority on campus, we need better funding to bring conservative scholars to campus.
Third, and finally, conservative students must remain strong and true to their purpose.
I dunno… I've been told forever and a day that along with women, blacks, Latinos, and Independents, youth voters are The Most Important Voting Bloc IN THE HISTORY OF EVAR!!! Therefore, it is imperative for the party to kiss their collective asses. I will say, though, that within the context of the Culture War, it is imperative to make the case to young voters that the academic Left does, and has for at least a half century, lie about what the Right stands for and that it is intolerant and wrong-headed to dismiss the GOP as irrelevant.
I think this young feller has some good ideas along those lines.