It’s not at all a surprise to find David Brooks landing where he does on this issue, but I found the way he framed the discussion very interesting:
The proponents of same-sex marriage used the language of equality and rights in promoting their cause, because that is the language we have floating around. But, if it wins, same-sex marriage will be a victory for the good life, which is about living in a society that induces you to narrow your choices and embrace your obligations.
This would be the way I’d argue for same-sex marriage if I were in favor of it. By allowing gays and lesbians to marry, we can actually create a more stable society marked by more people joining together to form families. Seen this way, the pro-family position is actually to support same-sex marriage because it would create more families.
Oppenheimer raises the related and opposite point in this piece, using the pro-family rhetoric of conservatives to paint them into a corner: If conservatives are really pro-family, shouldn’t we be more vocal against other types of violations of the family? Where was the conservative outrage over divorced conservative leaders like Ronald Reagan, for example?
So here’s my question to Douthat, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, the world of conservative evaneglical preachers, and others who are so concerned about same-sex marriage: What does it do your perception of Ronald Reagan that he was a divorcé—and in being the first divorced president certainly helped remove any last shreds of stigma? Would you have voted against him for that reason—as many would have in 1952?