Having read a thread on here about same-sex marriage, and some articles on the recent narrow loss of proponents of a bill to legalize it in Maine in a state-wide referendum, I now know a little bit more about the issue, and it occurs to me that the people who are so adamantly opposed to it have, in a sense, already lost. First - a little history: Six years ago, there was not a single state in the United States that granted marriage status to same-sex couples. As of today, there are four, and as of January 1st, there will be five (when New Hampshire's law takes effect). Disclaimer: I support equal rights, including the right to marry, regardless of the couple's race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc., for as long as our government continues what I see as a pointless intervention in private life by "state sanctioning" people's personal living arrangements and/or love life. My ideal would be that all state governments and the fed get out of the "marriage business" altogether, and leave it up to churches, mosques, or covens to perform these rituals. But, if the state does feel like it has to be involved, then it has an obligation to ensure equal treatment of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and heterosexuals (and whatever other variants I'm missing here). Now - why is same-sex marriage inevitably coming to every state, even though opponents have been repeating, like some kind of mantra, that in 31 state-wide referendums in a row, people voted to reject same-sex marriages? History. Take women's suffrage first (the right for women to vote). From Wikipedia: Needless to say, after a long, state-by-state slog where women won state-level court-cases, and legislative wins, they eventually did go from being able to vote in only four states, to having their equal status recognized by the Federal government, thus taking the matter out of the hands of the states. Next, look at the issue of "different-race-marriage". For much of the nation's history, most states had anti-miscegenation laws (laws that banned interracial marriage and/or inter-racial sex). Until 1874, such laws were on the books in every state, and had been since the original 13 colonies. Between 1874 and 1883, however, seven states repealed those laws (in some cases before having official statehood). Those states were: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, Maine, and Massachusetts. Notice anything interesting about that list? Massachusetts and Iowa are two of the states that have also broken with history on same-sex marriage, and where it's legal nowe. Of course, it wasn't until 1967 that the last state - Virginia - had it's law struck down by the Supreme Court in Loving v Virginia, so it was a long, slow, state-by-state process, which ended in Federal court. Comparisons can be drawn to other causes, like abortion (again, a state-by-state battle that eventually was decided in favor of advocates by the Supreme Court), although that analogy is weaker, I think. So, there is definitely historical precedent for same-sex marriage following down the same path as previous civil-rights movements, some of them very similar (the anti-miscegenation laws being a very similar cause, with opponents of allowing blacks and whites to marry citing the Bible, and labeling it "unnatural", etc, some of the same things I hear opponents of same-sex marriage saying now). The most damning indictment of opponents, however, has been that after six years of allowing same-sex marriage in an increasing number of states... the sky hasn't fallen. The divorce rate among heterosexual couples hasn't skyrocketed, the "institution of marriage" seems to have survived unscathed, and the people in those states have gotten time to become accustomed to the "new normal". Based on that pattern, I think that by 2015, there will be another few states (say, 7 - 10 total) that allow same-sex marriage. And once it eventually does become legal in California, the most populous state by far, it will then either be formalized by Congress, or the Supreme Court will rule, and then social conservatives can pick their next line in the sand. Time is on the side of the gays and lesbians in this fight, because they're never going to give up fighting for equality, but the rest of us - particularly the people trying to fight against them - can't keep the same level of passion going forever, while losing state after state. At this point, it's inevitable. It's even possible that New Jersey might pass a law recognizing same-sex marriage in the next two months. If so, that will make six states in just over six years. Do the math.