So it seems "opposite marriage" opponent and Miss California Carrie Prejean has joined up with the National Organization for Marriage folks to launch a new anti-gay marriage ad. Or maybe it's an anti-criticizing people for opposing gay marriage ad; it seems that the NOMsters are now more concerned about their feelings than the agenda they push. In any case, Ben Smith has the press release (emphasis mine):

What happens when a young California beauty pageant contestant is asked "do you support same-sex marriage?" She is attacked viciously for having the courage to speak up for her truth and her values. But Carrie's courage inspired a whole nation and a whole generation of young people because she chose to risk the Miss USA crown rather than be silent about her deepest moral values. "No Offense" calls gay marriage advocates to account for their unwillingness to debate the real issue: gay marriage has consequences.

Are these folks suggesting that Prejean might have a personal truth that is unrelated to other, perhaps equally valid truths, or some kind of larger perfect truth? Seems to me that if you want to push a religiously-inspired public agenda that brooks no dissent, it's harder to do if you concede the contingency of moral values. How ever would we organize such a society? (Paging John Rawls!)

On a less philosophical point, it's worth noting that folks have been debating the consequences of gay marriage for a long time now. The chief consequence of gay marriage, of course, is that gay people can get married and share in the various rights society grants to heterosexual marriages. Judging by this page, NOM's concern is that the consequence is that "people like you and me who believe children need moms and dads will be treated like bigots and racists.” The whole thing has a 'doth protest/project too much' feeling to it. But as gay marriage becomes a reality in more and more places across the country, it becomes clear that most people aren't feeling too threatened by the whole prospect, whatever their beliefs about child-rearing.

-- Tim Fernholz

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