Don’t Buy the Same-Sex Marriage Tidal Wave Illusion

By Cathy Ruse Published on June 19, 2015

If same-sex marriage comes to America, it will not be because Americans asked for it.

In the last 15 years the question was put to the people in nearly every state of the union. Even in liberal states like California, even on ballots in purely democratic primaries, the people voted overwhelmingly to keep the definition of marriage unchanged.

Gay activists were confident going into many of these contests because the polls promised them big wins. Yet when people stepped into the ballot box, man-woman marriage won. Polls are one thing. Polling places are another.

We live in an age where the wrong opinion on same-sex marriage can cost you your job or your business. Where the wrong answer to a reporter’s hypothetical question can bring death threats. It’s a wonder anyone would tell a stranger on the phone what his views are on marriage.

But in the privacy of the voting booth, you are free from the bullies — free to consider what marriage means. And what children really need.

The People Voted

When historians write about the politics of marriage during the first American decade of the twenty-first century, here is what they will write:

That Nebraskans always considered marriage to be the union of one man and one woman but in the year 2000 they voted overwhelmingly to make that definition the official law of their state. And in 2004 Arkansans made man-woman marriage the official law of their state. And Georgians did too. And Kentuckians.

That Michiganders voted to protect the man-woman definition of marriage within their borders. As did North Dakotans, within theirs. And Oklahomans. And Ohioans. And Utahns. And Louisianans within theirs.

That in 2005 Texans voted to keep marriage in the Lone Star State a man-woman institution. As did Coloradans in their state in 2006. And Idahoans in theirs. And South Carolinians. And South Dakotans. And Tennesseans.

That in 2008 Floridians made man-woman marriage the official law of the Sunshine State. And Arizonans made it the law of the Grand Canyon State. And Californians made it the law of the Golden State.

They will write that in 2009 Mainers made man-woman marriage the official law of their land. And in 2012 North Carolinians made it the law of theirs.

Historians with an ounce of integrity will report that by this year 50 million Americans had stepped into voting booths from coast to coast and cast votes to keep the definition of marriage unchanged.

The Courts Pronounced

And then they will write that in 2013 a federal judge struck down the law that Utahns had passed to keep marriage a man-woman institution.

And in 2014 a judge struck down the law passed by the people of Oklahoma. And another struck down the law passed by the people of Virginia. Another, by the people of Texas. Another, by the people of Michigan.

They will write that a handful of federal judges struck down the laws passed by the people of Ohio, of Arkansas, of Idaho. And another handful struck down the laws voted in by the people of Oregon, of Pennsylvania, of Wisconsin, of Colorado and of Florida.

But this is folly. We know that historians will not write it this way.

Instead they will speak of a “shift in American attitudes.” They will use phrases like “tidal wave” and “sea change.” They will ruminate on how rapidly Americans embraced the new paradigm.

But of course this is an illusion. All that can really be said is that a handful of liberal judges embraced it. And then imposed it on the rest of us.

Even now — even after their votes have been nullified by judges coast to coast, after they have been scorned and mocked by the media, after death threats and twitter swarms — most Americans believe that marriage should be a man-woman institution.

The Family Research Council poll from February shows that 53% of us still hold this view. People in their 20s go the other way (37-60%) but ask your average 35-year old and he’ll agree. As will your average 40-, 50-, and 60-year old. 57% of African-Americans agree. And 61% of all Americans believe the people and the states should decide, not the Supreme Court.

How many Americans think the Christian baker should be able to say no to same-sex marriage? 81%.

The other side wants us to think America is against preserving man-woman marriage and that the world is against us, too. And certainly it feels that way. But that is an illusion.

They do not want us to count the countries that have voted in same-sex marriage because there are so few — just 18, even with Ireland. Out of 193 UN member states. Out of 220 countries worldwide. And only one country on the planet has same-sex marriage by way of court order (Brazil).

They do not want us to notice that Eastern Europeans are changing their national constitutions to protect the man-woman definition of marriage. One after another after another. Or to remember that 1.5 million Spaniards took to the streets of Madrid in protest of same-sex marriage — the equivalent of 10 million Americans marching on Washington.

Or to see the multiple, massive protests in France. Over a million Frenchmen and women crowding the streets of Paris to fight against a change in the definition of marriage.

Those of us who believe in man-woman marriage should not buy the illusion. No matter what another five judges do in June, the people are with us. And we will write the next chapter in the history of marriage in America.


Cathy Ruse, JD, former Chief Counsel of the Subcommittee of the Constitution in U.S. House of Representatives, is Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at the Family Research Council.


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  • Where do we start collecting votes on this site for this issue? We are coming down to the wire. These judges need to know that America still holds Marriage to be between a Man and a Woman as God designed it!
    It is His design that is so important. The other side is sin.
    As Christians we do not condem, but Love, and leave the judging to God.
    It’s about Love. The same love we have towards God we have to have towards others. Praise his Holy Name.

    • Rick Drywaal

      Go peddle your theocracy someplace else. And you have a strange idea of what love is. In case you’re wondering, trying to take away someone else’s rights (especially rights that you enjoy) is not love; it’s the opposite.

    • JaydubbWlr

      Then, as a Christian , turn the other cheek. Stop condemning others rights to choose for themselves. Stop judging, as you said yourself, that’s gods jobs. Hypocrite!

    • Drdreric

      Sorry to reply so late, but please do not presume to speak for all Christians. This Christian is Episcopalian, you know, with black, female, and gay bishops?

  • glenbo

    This article stated:

    “If same-sex marriage comes to
    America, it will not be because Americans asked for it.”

    So then, how did it come to America? Who asked for it?
    LGBT Americans asked for it. Simple.

    So this concept of “well, if we ALL don’t want it, then it
    ain’t gonna happen” indicates human rights are things that MUST be decided by
    the majority. This is wrong. So exactly how did slavery come to an end in America? By
    vote? How did interracial marriage come to America? By vote? How did women’s
    rights come to America? By vote? No.

    The concept of needing the approval of all Americans to allow
    civil rights to some of us is ludicrous, especially when doing so causes NO demonstrable concrete harm to anyone.

    This statement is irrelevant to LGBT rights.

    This article stated:

    “when people stepped into the ballot box, man-woman
    marriage won.”

    Because voters were misinformed by lies and fears that
    have never manifested. I watched many “pro marriage” adverts on TV and none of the doom and gloom assertions have come true.
    Other than just a few disgruntled bigoted cake makers with fragile weak and
    corrupted faith deliberately, knowingly and intentionally getting into trouble with laws they fully understood, there is no reason to place these amendments into any state constitution.

    This article stated:

    “We live in an age where the wrong opinion on same-sex
    marriage can cost you your job or your business.”

    Yes, but only if one disobeys anti-discrimination
    law and misinterprets and/or manipulate one’s interpretation of one’s
    chosen religion.
    A “wrong opinion” on race can yield the same consequences. I don’t get the point here.

    This article stated:

    “free to consider what marriage means”

    For who? Yourself? Or others? Who is anyone to make
    decisions for others? What makes anyone so entitled that they make decisions
    for other people. Absurd and immoral.

    This article stated:

    “They will write that in 2009 Mainers made man-woman
    marriage the official law of their land.”

    True, but then in the very next election reversed this.
    What does this mean? Oh the dichotomy.

    This article stated:

    “All that can really
    be said is that a handful of liberal judges embraced it. And then imposed it on
    the rest of us.”

    The judges are bound by the U.S. Constitution. NOTHING is
    being “imposed” on anyone. Bans on gay marriage are an imposition of religion
    on LGBT people. This is ridiculously hypocritical.

    This article stated:

    “The Family Research Council poll from February shows that
    53% of us still hold this view.”

    Seriously?? The FRC??

    If you poll religious people, you will get a religious
    answer. The real numbers are different and in favor of same-sex marriage. The
    FRC cannot be trusted to tell the truth never mind be unbiased.

    This article stated:

    “And 61% of all Americans believe the people and the
    states should decide, not the Supreme Court.”

    How does that work? How can something be both legal and
    illegal at the same time? So let me get this straight…homosexuality is “moral” in
    Maine and Washington state, but “immoral” in Texas and Florida? Because people
    can vote on morality? Where is the fairness, logic or rationality of deciding human rights in this manner? And what’s the purpose? Why is this an issue?

    Would you accept voters to decide that you can have a valid driving license in one city, but not in another? And would you accept that?
    What an absurd way to determine what humans can or cannot do.

    So to conclude, other than the “voting” issue, why should
    LGBT marriage be illegal? I would like to hear just one good reason.

    • speedracer

      glenbo, i love you

  • gatekeeper96740

    We in Hawaii voted TWICE AGAINST it . The Governor over rode us and put it in anyway.
    So we got rid of him!

    The ONLY reason they push this is population control. Gays don’t breed. It is more green of the planet agenda.

    • Elizabeth Putnam

      The legislators which you Hawaiians voted in were also at fault. They passed a bill that the Governor signed.

      • gatekeeper96740

        Your tone is that it is OUR fault…No they held a special session beginning October 28, 2013, and against what the people wanted and the demonstrations where 14,000 showed up to denounce it they did it ANYWAY. So we got RID of the Governor and his cronies.

  • William Bailey

    That’s the way it works in this representative democracy. Laws are passed and then the courts decide if they are constitutional. When the courts decide the laws don’t coincide with constitutional protections then the laws are struck down. Many states had laws prohibiting interracial marriage too, and the courts struck down those laws. The number of people that believe something to be true in no way determines the truth of that position. What people like Cathy Ruse, the author, fail to understand is that by discriminating so clearly against LGBT people they are making them a distinct class, and when that happens strict scrutiny applies. The class must have experienced a history of discrimination, must be definable as a group based on “obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics,” be a minority or “politically powerless,” and its characteristics must have little relationship to the government’s policy aims or the ability of the group’s members to contribute to society. Once the courts decide that strict scrutiny applies all discriminatory laws will be overturned because they will be unable to meet the standards of strict scrutiny. So, thanks Cathy for doing your part in overturning these reprehensible and discriminatory laws.

  • toonybrain

    Excellent article. And yes, I concur.. All the evil policies that are putting the nail in the coffin of the American way of life are not “because Americans asked for it.”

    Americans didn’t ask for Obamacare, we didn’t ask for the mainstreaming of homosexuality and transexuality, we didn’t ask for the loss of religious freedom and the mocking of Christians, we didn’t ask for the re-ignition of race wars/class wars/gender wars, we didn’t ask for open borders and non-assimilating illegals who prefer to conquer America than become Americans, we didn’t ask to be bilingual, and we certainly didn’t ask for homosexual “marriage.”

    May God continue to have mercy on us despite our evil leaders.

    • glenbo

      In response to toonybrain:
      You said:
      “we didn’t ask for the loss of religious freedom”
      Can you please explain exactly how your religious freedom has been compromised?
      Thank you.

    • Elizabeth Putnam

      Just so you know, although the majority speak English, the USA does not have an official religion. If I did not have problems with language, I would love to be bilingual especially since one side of my family speaks German.

    • Connie McNamara

      Hypothetically speaking, would wearing a white robe and pointy white hat be the answer to all the “we” problems you have listed toonybrain?

  • Rick Drywaal

    Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness are among the unalienable rights specifically spelled out in the Declaration of Independence. When it comes to the issue of gay rights, the Bible commands to take the first, and so called “christians” seek to remove the second and third. It really is shameful and un-American.

    • glenbo

      In response to Rick Drywaal:

      You said:
      “When it comes to the issue of gay rights, the Bible commands to take the first”

      As an atheist, I don’t believe the bible. Please explain why the bible that you may
      believe in should apply to anyone else other than bible believers.

      Thank you.


      well, tell that to the people you hunt down, simply because they have a different point of view. Your idea of a harmonious society starts to look frightfully similar to those inside a caliphate. People are trying to leave you alone, they put up with your pride parades (which are no longer about equality and freedom, but all out intimidation), but we won’t leave it alone. Everyday you find another poor soul to torture, all in the name of tolerance and equality. When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible CONDEMNS it in no uncertain terms. You want respect? Well start accepting a ‘no’ for an answer and move on. No one would have me and my wife smooching in front of them, why d’you think it’s okay for me to have to see gay people doing it?! You don’t want rights, you want domination, you want people to agree with you or shut-up. Neutrality is not an option, like in Islam. That’s what this people start to behave like. Extremists.

      • Elizabeth Putnam

        You realize you have a choice for pride parades and don’t have to go? I just recently graduated from high school and about to start college. Just go back to high school and you will see people smooching in the hallway during break or lunch. I personally think kissing should be reserved for private both gay and straight people but both gay and straight people are going to kiss in public no matter what you or I think. Just the fact that this article is written or you are able to write here shows that no one is trying to shut you up. There are always extremists and ISIS does not represent all of Islam.

      • glenbo

        In response to NOWAYJOSE:

        NOWAYJOSE said:

        “well, tell that to the people you hunt down, simply because they have a different point of view.”

        Glenbo responds:

        People who hunt down others or persecute others…like how religion persecutes gays? And only because religion has a different point of view? The pot calls the kettle black.

        NOWAYJOSE said:

        “When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible CONDEMNS it in no uncertain terms.”

        Glenbo responds:

        I have 2 questions:

        1) Why does the bible condemn it?

        2) Why should a non-bible believer be required to abide by the demands of a non-existent imaginary god that you have chosen to believe in out of thousands?

        NOWAYJOSE said:

        “Well start accepting a ‘no’ for an answer and move on.”

        Glenbo responds:

        No to what?

  • Nachum1

    All true. But I’m afraid once you start offering arguments like “what children need” as your primary defense (true as it might be), you’ve lost. A firm stand has to be taken about what is moral, what is normal, and what God wants.

  • speedracer

    you could’ve made the same exact arguments regarding inter-racial marriage in the 60s. the fact that the so-called majority opposes something does not mean that it is the right thing to do. and given the pathetic turnout seen in elections, don’t think for one minute that the results of voting on same-sex marriage bans truly reflects the will of the people. and that’s a great segue into the role of the courts: just as with loving vs. Virginia, which granted blacks and whites the right to marry, the courts are there to protect the rights of the disenfranchised, the minorities, when the majority or congressional bodies enact laws that infringe on their constitutional rights. that’s how the system is supposed to work. your heterosexual privilege is a bright beacon and yet you are blind to it.

    • Eric Brown

      One could. Of course, said arguments would be false, as 30 seconds of googling could tell you. There was a steady decrease in anti-miscegenation laws from the 1930s through the 1960s.
      And, given how voting against same-sex marriage is now apparently grounds for termination, assault, and property destruction, I’d say that 50 million people are braver than you think.

  • Elizabeth Putnam

    You also realize there is 380 million people in the USA. 50 million is only 13% of the population which is hardly a majority. If everyone above the age of 18 were to vote, there might be a reversal of the majority of opinions. Not to mention a lot of these happened in the early 2000s which was around 15 years ago. Again people’s opinions change in 15 years and again there might be a reversal.

  • JaydubbWlr

    I don’t think states would be legalizing it if it weren’t actually on the “people’s” agenda. We are ready for equal rights to every human, I think. It would be great if we could kick out all the christians, jews and muslims though. They are truly ruining it for everyone else. lol

    • bowie1

      Isn’t that just another form of discrimination?

    • seriously, i mean where in the world do you come off? are you sure you aren’t a hitler type?

  • Drdreric

    This article conveniently ignores the fact that in November 2012, in all four ballot measures on gay marriage, in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, the electorate voted in favor of gay marriage. Who is the honest historian now?

  • nzchicago

    How incredibly appropriate that the author of this article is Cathy Ruse, since that’s exactly what the article is.

    Ruse: A deception, action or plan which is intended to deceive someone. (In this case, by misleadingly manipulating statistics, old vote counts and poll results.)

  • breslev

    nice to hear a really wise woman sayin wise things for a change… we’ve been accustomed to hearing stupid things from dumb ppl who wave the flag of ‘intelligence’ which they lack thereof…

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