Personally, I have always felt that gay marriage was an inevitability, for good or ill (most likely both). I do not think that the arguments against gay marriage are all grounded in bigotry, and I find some of the arguments persuasive. But I also find it cruel and absurd to tell gays that living the free-love lifestyle is abominable while at the same time telling them that their committed relationships are illegitimate too.I am sincerely pleased to read this, in a conservative outlet like National Review no less. Here's hoping that a similarly pragmatic, reasonable viewpoint continues to take hold amongst our friends on the Right. But I found myself irritated by something else in the piece:
Nowhere is [the sweeping embrace of bourgeois lifestyles by the gay community] more evident — and perhaps exaggerated — than in popular culture. Watch ABC’s Modern Family. The sitcom is supposed to be “subversive” in part because it features a gay couple with an adopted daughter from Asia. And you can see why both liberal proponents and conservative opponents of gay marriage see it that way. But imagine you hate the institution of marriage and then watch Modern Family’s hardworking bourgeois gay couple through those eyes. What’s being subverted? Traditional marriage, or some bohemian identity-politics fantasy of homosexuality?I love Modern Family. It has fantastic writing, and an absolutely perfect ensemble cast. It is funny and sweet and everything that one would want from a good piece of mainstream entertainment.
What it is not is "subversive." Who (other than Goldberg) has suggested that it is "supposed" to be?
Let me offer an analogy from my own experience. When I was going to medical school back in Missouri in the misty recesses of the 90s, there was a sort of risky "cool," if you will, to being gay and out. For a couple of years, I was the only openly gay guy in the whole school. It conferred a kind of cachet or novelty.
And then, friends, I moved to New York City. Want to know how many people were impressed by my being openly gay? Nada. Zilch. None. I was forced to find other ways of pretending to be interesting, with varying degrees of success.
And so it is with gays in popular entertainment. If, after Will & Grace (bleah) and Ellen and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (double bleah) and My Best Friend's Wedding etc etc etc, it's considered "subversive" to present the American viewing public with a gay family, then the word has lost all meaning. I suppose some people might expect the guys to spend every episode in drag or dressed like refugees from a Frankie Goes to Hollywood video, but I can't imagine that even quintessentially middle-American TV watchers find the show "subversive."