I have been for marriage equality for a long time and have performed a small number of same sex weddings. For me, it is a no brainer. And frankly I haven't really understood where all of the animus has come from on the anti side. Nobody was ever going to make a straight person marry someone of the same sex. What Bob & Ted do doesn't have any impact on what I do with my wife. And no church, synagogue, temple, or mosque would be required to perform a ceremony for anyone they don't want. Add to that the fact that we are constantly redefining marriage. Seriously. The folk who point to a "Biblical" marriage and define that as something like our modern nuclear family just are being dishonest. And the thought that marriage works the same way in the United States now as it did 100 years ago is just silly. Then today I read a piece on Red Letter Christians by Morf Morford that included a real Ah Ha moment for me.
In his short piece, Morford says that marriage is constantly being redefined, but the difference is who gets to do the defining. In the past, it was the white male power structure who did the defining. In this case, it is not the government, the Church, or even the majority (although the majority does favor marriage equality now)... it is the individual. Two consenting adults can decide to marry and gender or approval of any of those institutions is irrelevant.
And I got where the animus is coming from. I'm not sure that Morford's argument is 100% correct, but I think he did point to the key to this issue and so many of the other struggles in our society. It is all about the loss of power. As a pastor, I have run into lots of folk who as they got older and began to lose a variety of physical abilities, watched as the future contracted, and lost positions of power and influence just got nasty and cantankerous. Like terriers they would grab hold of something and just not let go as they tried to assert control over something, over anything.
As a nation and as a culture we are at one of those places. All of the old institutions and groups that held sway are losing it. Religion has lost its influence. Government is not trusted. Our population is no longer white and male. The economy doesn't work as it once did. Everything is in flux and those who once were at the top of the heap, no longer are. And the reaction to all of that loss is to strike out and try to hold on to whatever power can be grabbed. Stop whatever change can be stopped.
Now, I know that this argument may not hold for any given individuals. I guess there really are individuals who have well reasoned arguments against marriage equality and who actually are motivated by those beliefs... but I think on the large scale it is still about power and about fear.