As we listened to the oral arguments over the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act we could not help but marvel over the lightening speed at which the country seems to be evolving on this issue.
In 2000 and 2004 George W. Bush won the White House with a campaign that steadfastly supported the belief that marriage was a scared union between a man and a woman. The institution of marriage had long been a cornerstone of conservatism and Republican held family values. It was a belief that at the time was shared by a majority of the country.
In 2004 only 30% of Americans supported gay marriage. Today nearly two thirds of the country believes that gay couples should have the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts.
It is not unusual for the lawmakers in Washington to be light years behind the will of the people. Political self preservation can be a huge motivating factor. But it seems that even the politicians understand that this is one bandwagon they had better jump on.
Over the past several weeks it seems that not a day goes by when we don’t learn that another lawmaker has come out in support of gay marriage. Senators Begich, Hagan, Johnson, Kaine, McCaskill, Rockefeller and Warner recently joined Portman, Ros-Lehtinen and Hanna in their support of marriage equality. The Republican establishment, normally resolute in their support of “traditional marriage” has remained noticeably silent.
As we said yesterday, we have no idea how the court will rule on the two issues they are currently taking under consideration. But it is apparent to us that no matter their decision, the country believes that gay and lesbian couples should have the same marital rights as their traditional counterparts.
And someday soon that widely held belief will be the law of the land.