Hate and marriage.

The law, lawyers, and the court.
July 12 2006 4:50 PM

Hate and Marriage

Same-sex marriage setbacks may not be all bad news for gay rights.

(Continued from Page 1)

It should go without saying that the state should not advance anti-gay prejudice through the force of law. And as far as I'm concerned, the state has no business propping up distinctive sex roles in any context—that's a job for Wonderbras and Viagra. But a hunger for distinctive sex roles is just not the same thing as anti-gay bigotry.

So, the good news for gay-rights activists is that this string of same-sex marriage defeats doesn't suggest that civil rights for gay men and lesbians in other contexts are doomed. Opposition to same-sex marriage can be perfectly consistent with strong support for gay rights elsewhere. The bad news is that the fight for gay marriage may be much more daunting than they had imagined. Proponents may need to fight not only anti-gay bias but a deeply ingrained desire for stable sex roles, too. Some gay-rights activists have begun to ask whether the fight for marriage is worth the resources they've been devoting to it. It's a good question: If same-sex marriage provokes a distinctive form of popular resistance that isn't anti-gay bias, maybe it would be better to avoid a war on two fronts and shift focus to civil unions and domestic partnerships.


And if, despite all this, marriage remains at the top of the gay-rights agenda, proponents should try to respond to the inchoate fears and legitimate concerns of a large and potentially movable nonbigoted opposition, rather than attacking them as hateful bigots.


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059


Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Nicolas Sarkozy, Thrice Married, Says Gay Marriage Humiliates the Family

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 5:33 PM The Politics of Stigma Why are lighter-skinned Latinos and Asians more likely to vote Republican?
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
Sept. 22 2014 4:06 PM No, Women’s Soccer Does Not Have a Domestic Violence Problem Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 5:45 PM The University of California Corrects “Injustice” by Making Its Rich Chancellors Even Richer
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.