Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Attorney General Jack Conway insists his support for same-sex marriage is designed to put him "on the right side of history." Or, as he said, “I had some political advisors who looked at the crosstabs of the Bluegrass Poll and I knew roughly in this state its about 2-1 against it. So I knew I was doing something that was against the trend of the polling but I think for the trend of history, what I did was right.”

This is a popular phrase often trotted out by same-sex marriage advocates—viewing one’s movement as the 21st century recipients of the Civil Rights movement. Aside from the obvious fallacies of equating sexual desire to skin color, Conway’s rhetoric is just that—rhetoric designed to bring emotion, not reason, into the debate. Harkening back to the Civil Rights Era, Conway insists that the issue of defining marriage as the union of a man and woman is "discrimination," such that it is the equivalent to being a Klansmen. This is all rather laughable. No society throughout civilization designated same-sex relationships as "marriage." Only in the recent decade has same-sex marriage become possible. 

Opposition to same-sex marriage is not grounded in discrimination or hatred. It's grounded in the belief that the union of a man and woman has a unique pairing that no other relationship can mimic. Marriage is the social institution that sees a man and woman come together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. It's based on the anthropological truth that men and women are different, the biological fact that reproduction requires a man and a woman, and a social reality that insists that children need both a mom and dad.

Again, this has nothing do with bigotry. Stating that circles aren’t squares isn’t grounded in bigotry. Such is the same for marriage. Marriage isn’t known just by setting it against same-sex marriage. Stating that some relationships are different than others is based on the powers of observation.

But the bigger lesson is this: To end, being “on the right side of history” means being on the right side of truth. History is not a moral category unto itself. History is not determinative. It does not reign unto itself. Bandwagon moralities that support homosexuality today are capable of shifting tomorrow. Who dictates whether one is “on the right side of history,” though, is out of our hands. But history has been written, and done so with nail-pierced hands.