The evolution of marriage, gay and straight, will continue to evolve.
Frankly, there's a common-sense solution to the gay marriage debate. In a society which professes itself to be secular, government should not be able to say whether an individual marries a man or a woman.
It would make sense to have the government get out of the business of marriage, and concern itself with providing civil unions, which would protect the rights that couples earn -- as a family -- when marriage occurs. As for "marriages," those could be granted by churches or whatever organizations want to conduct "marriages."
Unfortunately, this common-sense solution is not likely to occur at this time. The institution of marriage, along with its religious connotations, remains grounded in the traditions of American culture. That is why close to 40 states have adopted measures that ban gay marriage. To many Americans, it's an institution that must not be tampered with.
Even President Barack Obama, when he became the first president to support gay marriage, did not argue that gay marriage is a federal right. He prefers to leave the matter to the states; most of which -- as mentioned -- ban gay marriage.
There is a positive, however, for gay marriage advocates. In the past several years, support for gay marriage has improved to the point that a slight majority of Americans support the practice. And among young Americans, support for gay marriage is overwhelming. As the marriage question evolves through the next several years, and over a generation, we suspect that support for gay marriage will only increase. In fact, a couple of generations from now gay marriage may be so commonplace that most of us may wonder why we ever opposed it in the first place.
However, for now, the issue will continue to be hotly debated. The impact of President Obama's historic stance on the issue serves mainly to invigorate the president's liberal, secular base, and challenger Mitt Romney's conservative, evangelical base.