Mohler: ... I think a lot of Christian conservatives are going to try to deny the obvious. I mean, when we're talking about same-sex marriage, we're talking about something that is already legal in one form or another in basically twelve states. So whether they call it marriage, as they do in a few states, or marriage lite as they have now in twelve states, the reality is that a good number of Americans are living where they're already facing not just the inevitably, but the reality, of same-sex marriage. I think it's clear that something like same-sex marriage — indeed, almost exactly what we would envision by that — is going to become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture. It's time for Christians to start thinking about how we're going to deal with that.
Mohler may be persuaded by public opinion polls showing clear support for gay marriage among younger voters, meaning that it's only a matter of time before their position becomes the majority view of the entire population.
Or does it? I'm curious about how religious conservatives reassure themselves that gay marriage can be stopped in the face of evidence that they've lost the youth vote.
There hasn't been a backlash in any state that has it. (Maine voted it down before it actually became law.) Maybe the religious right thinks it can outbreed gay marriage supporters (even though children routinely reject their parents' views on such matters). Or maybe they believe that personal views will "evolve" as today's gay rights supporters get older and raise children of their own. Social conservatives pretty much have to believe the old saw, (mis)attributed to WInston Churchill, that “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” They must believe that today's Gay Straight Alliance member (and union supporter, environmentalist, etc.) is tomorrow's Tea Partier. It would be too depressing to face the future otherwise.
I suppose it could happen that support for gay marriage could hit a wall because people change to the conservative side when they have children whom they want to protect from "social engineering." Then again, such a return to traditionalism doesn't seem to have happened with views toward interracial marriage (thank goodness), so I don't think there's much chance of it happening with gay marriage.