I have a number of objections to the Sunday Weekly column by Jennifer A. Marshall of the Heritage Foundation, A cruel summer for supporters of traditional marriage.
First of all the title is ill-chosen. Whats meant is supporters of the exclusivity of traditional marriage. I know of no one who supports legalized same-sex marriage who does not also support traditional (i.e. heterosexual) marriage for heterosexuals. And the notion that the very existence of gay marriages somehow threatens straight marriages like mine simply makes no sense.
Ms. Marshall makes much of the despicable attack in August on a building supervisor at the Family Research Council by a gunman who was a volunteer at the Washington, D.C., Center for the LGBT community. Political violence is always shocking and terrifying for the precedent it may set, so it is no surprise that the attack was immediately condemned by organizations and individuals across the political spectrum. I wonder how many other instances Ms. Marshall could cite of political violence or hate crimes by gay rights activists. I myself can think of none.
On the other hand, over the years there have been literally countless acts of violence, including murder, against gay people and their sympathizers. While these are more often condemned nowadays than before, they continue.
As for the ideological debate, I would concede that there is an element of politically correct intolerance in some reactions to recent expressions of opposition to gay marriage. But for decades indeed for centuries, although the phrase had not yet been coined it was politically correct to heap ridicule and other verbal abuse on gay people at every opportunity. Now perhaps the shoe is ever so slightly on the other foot, and suddenly the opponents of gay rights have discovered the virtue of tolerance.
To my fellow supporters of marriage equality I would say: By all means let us continue to eschew violence, as practically all of us always have. And lets remember that people have the right to express their opinions even when those opinions seem to us ignorant and bigoted. But to suggest, as Ms. Marshall does, that our side is the one more in need of such advice is beyond ludicrous.