I’ve long wondered what, exactly, opponents of same-sex marriage believe will happen if gay couples have the same right to marry as straight couples. Several years ago, I recall Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum telling TV preacher Pat Robertson, “[T]he consequence is very clear. Marriage loses its significance. People will stop getting married. Homosexuals will not get married; heterosexuals will stop getting married. And that to me is the real threat to the American family and to the culture generally.”
Now, this quote has always stood out for me because I’d really like to meet the straight person who believes, “I planned to marry the person I love, but I’ve decided not to. If gays can marry, it’s just not worth it.” That, I assumed, was the only way for Santorum’s argument to make any sense.
As it turns out, there’s another way Santorum could have been right.
June 17 marks the date that gay and lesbian couples can marry legally in California, following a landmark ruling by the state’s Supreme Court in May that struck down the ban on same-sex marriage. The day will be marked by joyous celebrations and eager couples earning a right they have waited years to obtain.
Yet, the occasion will also be punctuated by the division it creates throughout the state.... [T]he Butte County clerk-recorder issued a June 11 news release saying her office will stop performing wedding ceremonies altogether — for gay and heterosexual couples. The Kern County clerk issued a June 4 release that she would do the same.
Calaveras county has decided to follow Butte’s and Kern’s lead, and will also stop performing marriages altogether.
It never occurred to me that conservatives would actually find a way to make marriages between gay couples affect marriages between straight couples. Kudos to their right-wing, hate-filled creativity!