The last time the sanctity of marriage was debated

So same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. And though most of the reaction is favorable, there’s still this:

All the GOP hopefuls noted their personal objection to same-sex marriage and their belief that marriage should be left to the states. But while some firebrands — led by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — issued strong statements urging conservatives to fight, others, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, issued more muted statements.

The different reactions underscore the tough challenge facing Republican candidates in a deep field; namely, how to appeal to a conservative base that strongly opposes same-sex marriage without alienating a general-election audience that largely supports it.

Legality doesn’t immediately translate to acceptance. And acceptance is going to take a while. Don’t forget, we’ve done this before:

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U.S States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws:
Gray: No laws passed
Green: Repealed before 1887
Yellow: Repealed from 1948 to 1967
Red: Overturned on 12 June 1967

Anti-miscegenation laws: If you’re one race, you can’t marry someone of another race.

Mixed-race marriages used to be against the law. On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court changed that in its Loving v. Virginia, ruling, which came after a white man and black woman who married in Washington, D.C., were arrested after they returned home to Virginia.

That Supreme Court decision was unanimous, but unanimity didn’t equate with approval:

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In 1967, when the Supreme Court issued its ruling, fewer than 20 percent of Americans approved of interracial marriage.

The majority of Americans not only disapproved, they also were spiteful in their rejection of the concept:

Anti-Miscegenation

Now we come to 2015. This past April, a poll was taken on same-sex marriage, and this was the result:

A record-high 6 in 10 Americans support same-sex marriage and a similar share say individual states should not be allowed to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

So look at it this way: Although the Supreme Court ruled this past week in favor of same sex marriage in a narrow 5-4 vote, Americans approval of such unions is above 60 percent. When the Supreme Court ruled unanimously for mixed race marriages in 1967, the approval rating for such unions didn’t reach 60 percent until 1997, 30 years later.

Same sex marriage today is in a much stronger position despite its weaker court majority.

Hope and change 2015

Remember back in 2008, when Barack Obama won the presidency because he ran on a platform of hope and change? And remember how pissed of his supporters were after a few years because change didn’t happen immediately.

But today:

The Supreme Court on Friday delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

And yesterday:

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance subsidies to all qualifying Americans, awarding a major victory to President Obama and validating his most prized domestic achievement.

And this week:

After decades of bitter debate over whether the Confederate battle flag is a proud symbol of regional heritage or a shameful emblem of this nation’s most grievous sins, the argument may finally be moving toward an end.

South Carolina is leading the way for other states, as it considers removing the flag from its capitol grounds in the wake of a horrific racial hate crime.

Since Obama has taken office, we’ve extricated ourselves from two wars promoted by the previous president. The legalization of marijuana is taking place throughout the country and people are really getting pissed off that law enforcement tends to be more severe with certain races and ethnic groups than others.

This is fundamental change, and for some people, this is the most significant change they’ve seen in their lifetimes. But we see that change isn’t immediate. It takes a lot of hard work, and it faces virulent opposition. But it does happen. And once it does, it’s our responsibility as citizens to realize that just because we win one round, we then don’t just pack up our posters and say, “Well, I’m done. I got mine.”

We are making advances every day. This week, the liberals win. Don’t think the conservatives won’t counter with even more rabid condemnations of the Black-Marxist-Nazi-Kenyan usurper.

We are approaching a presidential election year. The battle lines are drawn. How far to the right will the Republicans go? Because the Democrats don’t have to move an inch.