Now that Maine has voted to repeal its gay marriage law, the blogosphere is filling with people complaining about the use of popular voting to decide civil rights questions. Where were they before the vote? If their side had won, they’d be happy with the process. When the government does things they don’t like without a vote, like go to war, they’re unhappy.
When the government implemented civil rights legislation in the 60s, they got ahead of what the majority of people wanted. The backlash gave us Nixon, Reagan, Gingrich, Bush(es)…. Be careful what you ask for.
You have to move popular opinion to be successful. For whatever reason, some people hate and/or fear homosexuality. That needs to change before same-sex marriage is accepted. Even if the law had withstood the challenge in Maine (or California), that wouldn’t mean that same-sex couples would never face prejudice again.
The trend is heading in the right direction. With time and continuing effort, equal marriage rights are going to happen. When the people finally do vote to ratify the step, that will help the remaining resistance accept the change.