You’ve Already Lost


by Jeff Fecke | April 7, 2009 • As long-time readers of this blog know, I’m a volunteer for the Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government program. One of the things I like about volunteering over a long period of time is that I get to see how issues morph and change over time.

The issue that’s changed most is same-sex marriage. When I was a participant in the program (about 18 years ago), bills to legalize same-sex marriage routinely failed — though not by much. When I was just starting as an advisor, they began passing — sometimes in close votes, sometimes over governors’ vetoes, but passing.

Jeff Fecke is a freelance writer who lives in Eagan, Minnesota.In addition to his own blog, Blog of the Moderate Left, he also contributes to Alas, a Blog, Minnesota Campaign Report, and AlterNet. Fecke has appeared as a guest on the “Today” show, the Alan Colmes radio show, and the Mark Heaney Show. Fecke is divorced, and the father of one really terrific daughter. His debut novel, The Valkyrie’s Tale, is now available.

Today? Students don’t offer up same-sex marriage bills that much, because frankly, they’re boring. Everyone’s in favor of them. They pass with dozens of votes to spare. Even conservative kids are pro-same-sex marriage.

Which is why this statement by Iowa State Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, is so spot-on.

That is the dirty secret of the gay marriage foes — they’ve lost. And what’s more, they know they’ve lost. Oh, they may hold out in a rear-guard action for some time — they can win (barely) on Proposition 8, and set up legal hurdles in states where they have a majority today. But the victories are hollow. They can only delay the inevitable.

As more and more young people gain the right to vote, and as more and more old people die off, the electorate becomes more and more friendly to gay rights. Within a generation, I suspect that gay marriage will be legal in a majority of states, if not all. Within thirty years, it will be legal nationwide.

The right may win some more battles. But the war is lost. We are going to see a lot more Iowas and Vermonts in the coming years, and a lot fewer Californias.