Being on the wrong side of gay marriage history

Apparently, Chick-fil-A appreciation day was a huge success. Opponents of gay marriage lined up to buy products from the fast food chain to show that they are on board with the anti-gay marriage stance of the company’s leadership. At times like these, I wonder what it must feel like to obviously be on the wrong side of history, in the moment.

Gay marriage is not allowed in most states now, but anyone who can read and do some math must realize that it will become the norm in a couple of decades at the latest. Here is the age breakdown of support for gay marriage from 2011:

Support is up in all age ranges and at a whopping 70% among those between the ages of 18 and 34. The support numbers will likely continue to rise, and older people will continue to die. So it really is only a matter of time. Once the swing is complete, history wont look kindly on those who participated in Chick-fil-A appreciation day, and especially not on the public figures who pushed it, e.g. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee.

People in the United States — especially younger people — are moving towards a consensus that gay marriage is an issue of equality, freedom, and rights protection. Consequently, the right-wing figures opposing the movement will be historically understood as embarrassing bigots. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are going to be the Strom Thurmond and George Wallace figures for the gay marriage movement. And these hordes of Chick-fil-A patrons are going to be the white mobs outside of Central High School.

That is of course not to say the movements are at all parallel; it is just to say that as far as historical treatment goes, the actors will fill similar roles. Given how clear it is where history is headed on this issue, I really do wonder what goes through the minds of people on the opposite side. It is one thing to oppose gay marriage; it is quite another to do so openly and publicly against the tides of history. I guess if you are a true believer, historical calculations are not very important to you.