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Obnoxious mobs that won't tolerate disagreement don't usually win supporters.

A manager at a Los Angeles Mexican restaurant was targeted for her $100 contribution in support of traditional marriage. Protesters hounded her out of her job, and did the same to a Sacramento theater director and the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Churches and Mormon temples were vandalized. The mainstream media ran an all-out public relations campaign in support of same-sex marriage. Hollywood quickly put together "Prop. 8: The Musical," an Internet video that mocked Jesus, the Bible, and Christians.

"Want to cause a nice long backlash to gay rights? That's the way to do it," said lesbian social critic Camille Paglia.

Obnoxious, bigoted mobs that won't tolerate any disagreement don't usually win supporters. Or, as the usually insufferable Objectivist Ayn Rand said, "Argument from intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence." Of course, if the media are to be believed, same-sex marriage is a done deal. "Same-sex marriage is inevitable. It just takes time," a Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist wrote.

The conventional wisdom is that traditional marriage is a demographically lost cause. Younger voters are more likely to support same-sex marriage than older voters, we're repeatedly reminded. Indeed, 61 percent of voters over 65 supported Prop. 8, while 61 percent of people under 30 voted against it.

But if history and demographics are on the side of same-sex marriage, one wonders why journalists, Hollywood executives, and gay activists didn't just sit tight and wait. Why voluntarily sabotage their cause with a coordinated campaign of bigoted, violent, and hateful reactions to recent public votes on the matter?

Despite the story ...

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In the Magazine

February 2009

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