On gay marriage, it is all over but the shouting. But there will be some shouting.
Nothing proved that more this week than when same-sex marriage arrived in Alabama, which ultimately led to an epic and at times rambling 20-minute-plus conversation Thursday between Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and CNN's Chris Cuomo. It was repetitive, in the weeds, and in some ways futile, foreshadowing the type of framing at least some prominent conservatives will maintain as they keep up the fight against same-sex marriage.
Moore dubbed the whole thing a "federal intrusion in state sovereignty."
"No judge of the United States or federal district court has the right to invent the definition of marriage, which is not even contained in the United States Constitution," he said. "And that's the problem; we have people going in trying to mandate to the state of Alabama that the sanctity of marriage amendment in our constitution is wrong, and that's simply not right to do."
There were also references to slavery and segregation, recalling the South's last stands over "states' rights." Moore has become the poster boy for this issue among social conservatives, and while many national Republicans have retreated on the issue, he does have some company.
Likely presidential candidates Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and former Arkansas governor/Fox host Mike Huckabee (R) will appear in a documentary called the "Light Wins: How to Overcome the Criminalization of Christianity," which portends that "darkness" is being ushered into the land with increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage.
First reported by the liberal outlet Right Wing Watch, the documentary comes out at the end of the month. Expect it to be a hit in evangelical churches, the very audience that Huckabee and Paul want to reach as they consider 2016 bids (think: Iowa).
"What kind of freedom of speech do we have if a person who expresses a biblical viewpoint about marriage is told they can't open their businesses in a location?" Huckabee asks in the trailer.
Moore's comments and reports on the new documentary come as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in an interview with Bloomberg, went so far as to speculate about what the country's reaction would be if the Supreme Court finds that there is a constitutional right to gay marriage (as many expect it to do).
“The change in people’s attitudes on that issue has been enormous,” Ginsburg said. “In recent years, people have said, ‘This is the way I am.’ And others looked around, and we discovered it’s our next-door neighbor -- we’re very fond of them. Or it’s our child’s best friend, or even our child. I think that as more and more people came out and said that ‘this is who I am,’ the rest of us recognized that they are one of us.”
But the Christian-conservative objections will remain, even if their platform is mostly cable news, conservative radio, churches and a handful of presidential hopefuls. Moore will continue to be the gold standard of resistance, with other GOPers forced to say whether they are with him or against him.
It's not exactly what the GOP wants in the run-up to the 2016 campaign, but it was probably unavoidable.