Speaking of Andrew Sullivan, his latest on gay marriage is quite good:

I have nothing against the voluntary and peaceful activities of any religious group, and regard these organizations as some of the greatest strengths of America. The idea that gay people somehow want to persecute these churches, that we’re out to get you, and hurt you and punish you is preposterous. The notion that there are rampaging mobs of gay people beating up on Christians is also unhinged. To take one flash-point between a radical Dominionist group deliberately trying to rub salt in the wounds of Castro Street bar patrons after closing hours – in which no one was hurt – as the harbinger of some kind of mass gay pogrom against Christians is daffy. To equate a few drunks gays with Bull Connor is deranged and offensive. There are elements on both sides who do not represent the core. That core can coexist with mutual respect in the context of legal and civil equality.

It occurs to me that this sort of arrangement would require a great deal of restraint from both sides. No more frivolous lawsuits forcing eHarmony to open its doors to gay users. No more purportedly conservative bills that foist a one-size-fits-all definition of matrimony on the states. Can our political consensus embrace an ethic of restraint? Some hardened traditionalists have resigned themselves to the prospect of gay marriage – what they’re really worried about is preserving a sphere of autonomy to protect their deeply-held religious beliefs. I don’t think this is at all unreasonable, but it requires us to allow the other side a little breathing room.


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