With younger Americans more favorably disposed to gay marriage, each year the number of citizens more favorably disposed to state recognition of the institution and eligible to vote increases. The likelihood grows that should an initiative appear on the California ballot to repeal Proposition 8, it will pass.
With that in mind, it’s imperative that should the California Supreme Court uphold that proposition, as many court watchers expect it to do, that advocates of gay marriage use that setback to their advantage. I believe that if, in the immediate aftermath of that decision, these advocates conduct themselves responsibly, they will all but guarantee repeal, perhaps as soon as 2010, but definitely by 2012.
Simply put, they need react not angrily, but rationally, saying they understand this decision, acknowledging they need to convince many voters about the merits of the change they propose, something to the effect of “We have not done a good enough job in the past of making that case. We’ll do a better job next time.”
In short, instead of lashing out against the Court and proponents of Prop 8, acknowledge the task ahead. Don’t blame others, do acknowledge the magnitude of the change they are proposing and the responsibility of those pushing such a change to act responsibly and to speak intelligently. With solid arguments and the right attitude, they can change their minds of some of those who last year voted for the successful ballot initiative.
It’s all a question of approach. And attitude.