This post on TPMd by Amanda Marcotte really opened my eyes about why conservatives made such a big deal about “traditional” marriage being destroyed but never really supported that conclusion with any kind of premise that made sense.
In reality, however, there was a subterranean argument that actually is logical and makes perfect sense. It was never just about man-woman marriages. The tradition that is disappearing is the belief that marriage is a duty, especially for women. As Douthat argues, Americans are rejecting “the old rules, its own hopes of joy and happiness to chase.”
Progressives had a wrong, or incomplete, definition of “traditional”. The complaints about birth control and whether women should have control over their own bodies are all part of the same belief — that women should be under the thumb of a man and the hell with happiness and free choice and personal liberty. That kind of marriage should die in a fire.
Reading Douthat, you do get a better idea of why conservatives see same-sex marriage as a threat to traditional marriage. It’s not because straight people won’t want to get married if gays are doing it, too. It’s because it redefines marriage as an institution of love instead of oppression.
This is the whole ball of wax right here.