New research undertaken by the Pew polling organization shows that every major form of media skews heavily towards the legalization of gay marriage, except one conservative talk radio.
(Really conservative talk radio is actually a subset of talk radio, which can be split up into three categories: conservative talk radio, liberal talk radio, and straight news radio. Pew actually makes a distinction for NPR, but I think enough of us have listened to NPR to know that it leans heavily to the left.)
The bigger news from this poll is that every other media outlet is slanted in the debate on gay marriage by a larger proportion than our country is. In this study even conservative talk radio is more neutral on the issue than against it.
Knowing that the mass media is heavily tilted in favor of gay marriage, the question becomes how do opponents respond? Would a heavier media presence make a difference, or is it time to try a new tactic on the gay marriage front?
Some libertarian Republicans have been advocating measures that would seek to divorce government from the marriage process altogether. This solution would allow Conservatives to ensure the sanctity of what they view as “traditional marriage”, by keeping government recognition from being necessary at all. Christian churches could continue to sanction heterosexual only marriage. Gay couples might find an amiable Unitarian church (or something similar). Honestly, these couples could probably find a sympathetic ear at these locations right now, anyway.
History sides with the Libertarian argument of removing government oversight from marriage:
“The problem is not one of recent construction, but one that dates back to the late 1800s. Through most of the last 2000 years marriage was something that only mattered in the context of a religious community, only recently over the last 100+ years have we seen the encroachment of government into the contract. Racism was the impetus for government involvement in marriage, as states began banning interracial marriage. In the early 1900s the rationale for government involvement moved away from racism and toward the development of the welfare state. Marriage licenses were used to figure out who should get what from the government and how much should they get? The marriage license is no longer a useful tool for the welfare state because it’s no longer a good indicator of who may or may not have responsibilities outside themselves.”
The gay marriage tide seems inevitable – the courts, the media and public opinion all seem to be turning against traditional marriage. However, I believe if we can use current popular sentiment against the government in our favor, we can move to oust the government completely from the marriage process. If we can remove any government interference, gay couples could marry but the church could simply argue that it is not marriage because it has not been conducted under the auspices of the church. Otherwise, traditional marriage in America may go the way of prayer in the classroom.
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