Our View: Gay marriage is coming

DKS Editors

Last week, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced that because his son had come out as gay, he had a new perspective on the debate about marriage equality.

“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,” Portman wrote.

This was huge news, as Portman became the only sitting Republican senator to actually take the small-government stance on gay marriage. Ideally, more conservatives would agree that politicians shouldn’t decide which people we may legally consent to marry, but nonetheless, one Republican senator on the right side of history is vastly better than none.

The good news didn’t stop there. Hillary Clinton made a similar announcement of her own Monday, “in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans.” It’s likely that support of gay marriage will become a litmus test for Democrats’ support of 2016 presidential candidates. Again, marriage equality is becoming the norm, and that is important progress.

If you don’t believe such support is increasing, take a look at the Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday, which found that 58 percent of surveyed Americans think it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married, the highest level of support ever measured. A decade ago, it was only 37 percent, while 55 percent thought it should be illegal. We’ve come a long way.

It’s been an endless barrage of good news for advocates of gay marriage lately. Last month, more than 80 prominent Republicans signed an amicus brief advocating for gay marriage legalization; that would have seemed improbable not long ago. Lawyers will finally make their way to the Supreme Court next Tuesday and Wednesday to argue the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

This issue won’t go away, nor should it, until gay marriage is legal from sea to shining sea, and these latest developments suggest it’s going to happen sooner or later.