It appears as though the whole gay rights issue has been settled. Most folks accept them without question, and the conservatives are at the point where they may just have to give up the ghost. So long as the seriously religious are given enough legal protection under the First Amendment, well, that may be all that can be had on the matter.
We are left to wonder why the issue became resolved so quickly. We suspect that the change in the American body politic had little or nothing to do with principle. We strongly suspect that, in fact. Because when you get down to brass tacks, most of the support for gay rights hinge on rather shallow points.
They aren't, it is argued, hurting anyone. But that can only really apply if we believe that personal actions cannot hurt the person himself. It ignores that human beings, being creatures of habit, can become better or worse people depending on whether their actions, and perhaps especially the actions which 'don't hurt anyone else' are involved, because it quite directly invites selfishness. How many times do small children respond to instruction with 'I'm not hurting anyone!'. Beyond that, the question of encouraging others to do wrong tells us that we ought to be considerate of the general society in all of our actions. Doing the wrong thing, again especially under the guise of no harm involved, surely makes it very easy for others to do it to themselves. After all, so-and-so do it, and they aren't bad people.
Which leads to the next point. How many folks support gay rights because, 'they're not bad people'. Quite frankly, most of us are 'not bad people' when we aren't doing anything wrong. Probably 98% of the time we aren't bad people. Yet the bad things we do are still bad no matter how good we are the rest of the time. And make no mistake: active homosexuality is a moral wrong no matter who thinks otherwise. That's why institutions such as the Catholic Church are sticking to their guns on the matter. What's wrong is wrong no matter what the broader society thinks.
Outside of these factors, one telling little thing comes to mind. The issue has been decided so quickly so recently that we must think that it has happened simply to get the question of gay rights off the table. Why ought that be so? There are two possible reasons, perhaps more, but we'll go with the pair right now. The first is rather simple: politicians and citizens don't want to make choices which involve great thought and make them have to make decisions they don't want to make. A principled stand means you may end up offending someone. Politicians hate that because it could cost them votes. The average person hates that because it may make them seem out of touch with the general sentiments of the moment, and fitting in means so much these days.
Yet the second point may well be the most telling. Folks hate being told what to do, especially in their personal lives, and especially leftist and libertarian folks. Consequently, they hate appearing to tell others what to do, especially when they may be living lives outside of what traditional western morals have taught. So if something even further from the historical mainstream is acceptable, then surely their acts can't be bad. They support gay rights because it allows them to live as they want without a similar societal frown gazed upon them. Said point blank, we believe that many people are for gay rights because it takes judgment and sanction off of their actions.
The support for gay rights is inherently shallow because there isn't a single rational reason to support them. It's really that simple, and that bodes ill for all of us. It means Miley Cyrus might just be ahead of the next civil rights curve.