I'm not sure how much more "polarized" the debate over gay marriage could possibly be than it is already, but that was the concern expressed by New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks on this Sunday's Meet the Press when asked if it matters that so many states have laws in place either restricting or banning gay marriage.
I wonder if Brooks thinks that interracial marriage ought to be put back up for a vote because that debate was "polarizing" for the country as well? Conservatives always seem to be terribly concerned about judicial "overreach" when it comes to civil rights or the rights of ordinary citizens, but don't have a problem when they "overreach" and give corporations and the wealthy the right to buy our elections. That's just fine.
GREGORY: David Brooks, the country is divided and there are forty one states that either ban it or treat gay marriage as something different than traditional marriage. Does that matter?
BROOKS: Yeah, but I think the trend, I'm with Hilary, the trend is pretty amazing. Listen, we've had five thousand years in western civilization, has there ever been a society that's given complete equality to gays and lesbians until ours and currently western Europe? No. This is a big, historic moment and the movement I think is just overwhelming and gradual and almost irreversible. Now why is it happening? One, because a lot of brave gay and lesbian people had the courage to come out and people got to see them. Second, because it became about marriage. It became about order. It became about having committed, long term relationships, which people conservative and liberal believe in.
And so those two things have moved, I think, the debate, tectonically. To me the only fear now is the court. If the court overreaches and tries to impose a solution from the top and that sort of freezes and polarizes the debate.