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Justin Maffett

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Socially Conservative or Socially Unacceptable?

Posted: 06/30/2013 5:07 pm

In anticipation of the Supreme Court's ruling on Prop 8 and DOMA this past week, hundreds of sign-bearing Americans descended upon the Court's plaza. The rest of the nation witnessed the historic proceedings via television and live tweeting.

The overwhelming sound of call and response chants drowned out most side conversation, as protesters were forced by SCOTUS police to remain on the sidewalk.

"This is historic... I've never seen this type of crowd gathered on decision day. It's pretty remarkable," shared Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Soon thereafter, I noticed I had only seen opponents of DOMA and Prop 8. At second glance, it appeared that only gay rights activists occupied the sidewalk.

For such a contentious political and judicial debate, one would expect an equally fervent battle over concrete squares. Moreover, it appeared that all the only visible men and women of the Clergy were those who also waved HRC flags and sang songs of love and equality.

I spoke with David Ensign, an Arlington pastor and board member of People of Faith for Equality: Virginia, who explained why he came.

"We are out here to witness in presence and in prayer, standing on the side of love. The tradition of civil marriage between two people is older than the Court and we're asking the Court to recognize that reality," he explained.

Ensign further explained that his goal was to see the Court finally acknowledge the rights and privileges of same-gender couples that want to make lifelong commitments to one another.

After what seemed to be an exhaustive search, I found Ronald Brock, 73, who stood alone on the curb directly across the street from the Supreme Court.

Brock, who had left his work to become a missionary, came that day to share God's message with America: "with sin comes consequences."

"I'm here because I'm a Christian, and I witness God's moral truth before a culture that has walked away from him," he said.

Without hesitation, Brock quickly moved onto his frustration with the turnout.

"Aren't you ashamed of us who call ourselves Christians? Obviously cause they care enough to show up -- they care more than we do. If we cared, we would be here," Brock proclaimed.

Brock's comments only further corroborated my initial feeling that the conservative viewpoint was largely underrepresented that day. Where was the religious right? Though this was just one event, this turnout could possibly hint at a new social trend.

As the movement for equality gains traction and momentum, can we expect to see fewer public displays of opposition to gay rights?

Is the public display of social conservatism becoming simply socially unacceptable?

This past Wednesday was destined to be a big day for both sides -- conservatives and progressives alike. But as Ronald Brock, and many other attendees can share, it appeared that only one side came with its game face on.

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