"One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others. By the time I finish my song?"
Looking through the mountains of speculation on the pending gay marriage cases, that song seems particularly relevant. Much has been made of certain cautionary statements by Justice Ginsburg which inferred that the continuing cultural battle over abortion may have been fueled by judicial overreach that ended progress at the local level that might have been more enduring.
According to Ginsburg, Roe went "too far, too fast" and some take this as a hint that the court might take a more piecemeal approach to the gay marriage cases, favoring limited decisions over the broad ruling some are rooting for. I certainly hope that is not true, because the analogy just doesn't hold.
I'm decidedly pro-choice. But if asked to argue the other side, I could make a compelling case. It's not as if abortion opponents are completely lacking some science and rational on their side. Life does begin at conception, the question is are the rights of that life equal to those of the mother over the matter of her own body? When do the full rights of a human being kick in? I'm comfortable with first trimester abortions, but increasingly less comfortable as time goes on. The fact is that with abortion there are many gray areas and those combine with religious doctrine and conservative culture to create enduring conflict.
There are no comparable substantive matters in opposition to gay marriage. Opponents have been forced to rely on religious doctrine or the obscure notion of tradition to justify the obvious discrimination. In states that have passed gay marriage, either by court ruling, legislative process, or public referendum the results have been positive. Why? Because it really doesn't affect you unless you're gay and want to get married, and then it's a positive thing.
The correct analogy for gay marriage isn't to abortion. It's to interracial marriage and the historic and aptly titled Loving v. Virgina ruling.
When love walks in the room, everybody stand up. Go wide SCOTUS, go wide!