by Max Brantley
A slow morning. But Joe Conason on President Obama's reversal on same-sex marriage bears quoting.
For honoring his conscience on the issue of marriage equality, President Obama earned angry rebukes from all quarters on the right, including the Uncle Toms of the Log Cabin Republicans, who said he was “a day late and a dollar short”; teenage mom Bristol Palin, who mocked him for invoking his daughters in changing “thousands of years of thinking about marriage”; and 50 year-old virgin Ann Coulter, often engaged but never wed, who called his decision “a sign of desperation.”
On the Fox Nation website, minions of Roger Ailes accused Obama of declaring “war on marriage,” echoing Rush Limbaugh‘s charge that “the president of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage,” while Karl Rove simply gloated that the controversy has left him “in a bad place” with Catholic and conservative voters.
All of these reflexive attacks were consistent with Republican propaganda shrieking that matrimonial rights for gay people will destroy the institution they hope to uphold. It is a puzzling argument, especially because the principal right-wing complaint against homosexuals for so many years was their alleged promiscuity. Now gays and lesbians are charged with trying to ruin the family because they want to take vows of fidelity.
In this historic moment for human rights, listening to the likes of Ailes (now on his third marriage) and Limbaugh (currently married to wife number four), not to mention Rove (divorced twice), it is impossible to believe that Republicans screaming about the future of wedlock are sincere. If they are truly worried about marriage, they should stop harassing gays and campaign for the only change that might make a real difference.
They could outlaw divorce, or least repeal the ultra-liberal, no-fault divorce laws that they’ve used to their own advantage.
Speaking of marriage, here's a link to scholarship cited by a reader yesterday that finds evidence of same-sex marriage in church custom as far back as the 9th century.