At long last, it's time for the other side of the gay "marriage" controversy to be heard

According to the latest Rassmussen polls, Americans favor gay "marriage" by a margin of 48% to 41%.

Yet 78% consider marriage important to society.

At first glance, the notorious instability of lesbian relationships and the rarity of monogamy in long-term male homosexual relationships seems to indicate a disconnect between these two results. The apparent inconsistency is easily explained, however.

The case for gay "marriage" relies heavily on character assassination (the assumption that anyone who opposes it must be a bigot who hates gays) and intimidation. The strongly pro-marriage revisionist nature of Hollywood and the communications sector generally and the outrageous discrimination against marriage traditionalists in employment and business licensing (remember Chik-fil-A's experience in Chicago, before Dan Cathy was intimidated into promising to go silent on the issue?) have created an atmosphere in which it takes considerable courage to point out the instability and/or promiscuity which gays themselves have long conceded to be problems in their relationships, much less to publicly oppose marriage redefinition. Letters to the editor making the case against gay "marriage" are often simply not published, dismissed as the work of extremist bigots despite reflecting the views of half the nation.

The case for the negative simply has not been made. The fashionable Leftists who control the media just won't let it be made; the "progressive" narrative requires that it be disqualified as evil and excluded from the public square. Traditionalists have been demonized, persecuted, rhetorically and financially bludgeoned and intimidated into silence.

Moreover, the marriage revisionists have played the dictionary card quite well. "Homophobia" can mean a great many things, ranging from actual hatred of gay people to simple reservations about the wholesomeness of homosexual behavior. That the problem nearly all traditionalists have is with homosexual behavior rather than with the ontological and involuntary sexual orientation of gays and lesbians makes comparisons to race and ethnicity absurd, but the intimidation factor and control of the means of communication by the revisionists makes it very difficult to refute it. Yet the very term "homophobia" defines the issue even in cases in which there is no element of hatred of ill-will precisely as bigotry, completely begging the issue of how it is possible to be a bigot because one disapproves of a behavior rather than an inherent characteristic of a group of people.

Oh, brave, new world- in which homosexual behavior is hald to be "healthy" and "normal," and support of the traditional marital mores of the ages is considered not only to be "bigoted," but by implication to be psychologically aberrant!

Yet the word "homophobia-" at least in many cases an argument about the psychological condition and moral of sexual traditionalists rather than a neutral word objectively describing their position- has been accepted into the English language and is widely used among the (revisionist) chattering classes as a matter of course.

The same has become true of "marriage equality-" a slogan rather than the description of a position, which (mis)defines the issue as a matter of discrimination rather than a recognition that homosexual relationships are simply not comparable to heterosexual ones in terms of the rational for marriage. The begetting and raising of children, and not mere "love" or affectional attachment, has traditionally been the legal and social justification for the existence of marriage in the first place (Justice Sotomeyer's bizarre question about why we allow senior citizens and the infertile to marry begs the question, there being no practical reason to amend law and custom to exclude them)is beside the point; actually redefining marriage to extend to individuals who cannot reproduce by virtue of inherent biology is a very different thing from failing to go out of our way to forbid the marriage of persons whose inability to reproduce is an accident of age or infirmity. Moreover, even at least one of the studies arguing that children are not disadvantaged by being raised in gay and lesbian families saw fit to include the caveat that the instability of lesbian relationships can undermine the acknowledged need of kids for a stable home. And sexual monogamy is not simply a nice custom; to extend marriage to a sub-population among whom it is generally passe' has obvious ramifications for the institution of marriage itself. I doubt that many of those whom Rasmussen has found to consider marriage important but favor its revision to include gay and lesbian couples have even pondered the impact of gay male promiscuity even within the context of "committed relationships" for the institution of marriage generally.

Nor should that be surprising. The control of the means of mass communication and of mass culture by the revisionists, together with the intimidation factor, has prevented the case from being made well enough for it to even become part of the national debate (such as it is).

Yet there are conservative columnists who could make the case, and make it loudly and repeatedly. Admittedly the columns doing so may not always be published, and doing so would require a certain amount of personal courage. But they could try a lot harder than they have.

And even if such articles are not published in the liberal media, there are conservative magazines like the National Review and the Weekly Standard which have the means to bypass them. Moreover we are not bereft of local dailies of a conservative editorial bent who could do the same thing. Perhaps the net effect would not be as great as equal access to the public square generally. But the relevant arguments could be made widely enough known that the issue need not be decided by default.

Nor has it been decided- yet. Despite the triumphalist rhetoric of the revisionists, poll after poll shows that nearly half of the American people are marriage traditionalists. I acknowledge that some conservative publications- National Review comes to mind- have made good-faith efforts to make the case. But the case needs to be made more often and more loudly if it is to be heard by the public at large.

Yes, the revisionists control the means of communication and the popular culture. But to a considerable extent, they are winning the debate because we are allowing ourselves to be silenced, to be rhetorically outmaneuvered, and to be marginalized.

It's time for traditionalists to fight back. It will take courage. It will take a willingness to risk losing one's livelihood and reputation in a firestorm of slander and character assassination. But the issue is too important to allow the issue to be decided without both sides having been heard.

And given how closely the nation is actually divided on the issue even as matters stand, what might the numbers be if they actually were?