I would like to extend a special thank-you to the National Organization for Marriage. No, I’m not lying. Thank you NOM, you’ve helped us win greater support for inclusion of gays and lesbians in marriage.

If you missed it, NOM spent the summer rallying six or seven people across the nation to defend marriage against the extension of marriage to loving people who’ve wanted it since the beginning of time. They’ve spewed hatred all over the country and made speeches all about traditions and morals. What ended up happening at these rallies was not quite what they intended:

A final way in which this turning point has been apparent this summer is the response to the National Organization for Marriage’s ’’Summer for Marriage’’ tour. Far from energizing communities to oppose ’’gay marriage,’’ the near-universal result, in city after city, was a far more engaged and motivated pro-marriage equality counter-action that often drew more people.

That response, then, impacted the message in media reports from Minneapolis – ’’Dueling rallies with little hitch,’’ headlined the Star Tribune – to Atlanta, where The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that NOM had ’’20 or so protesters’’ compared to ’’more than 150 counter-protesters.’’

Well, I guess that backfired. . . .

The Prop. 8 Trial Tracker, linked above, became the NOM Tour Tracker for the summer and every post noted that the counter-protest numbers were higher than the people coming out to support opposite marriage. It makes sense though: why would they come out to a "protest" event which supports something they already have? The NOM Tour was flawed from the beginning. Their whole strategy was to paint proponents of opposite marriage as victims. The tour was about "defending" marriage or taking it back from the gays or whatever else. But straight people can already get married and if gays can marry too, it won’t affect that. Straight people realize they aren’t "victims" of anything. Nobody came out to support the victimization of privileged heterosexuals because that’s stupid on its face.

And if you want to know how much of a beating marriage has taken lately, if you want to know how much danger the institution of marriage is in, well, it’s just so, so bad:

In the states for which data were available, there were 3.4 divorces per 1,000 people in 2009, following rates of 3.5 divorces per 1,000 people in 2008 and 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people in 2007.

Less divorces? I don’t know if we as a country can handle that. I would have thought that with more states allowing gay marriage, more people would leave their wives for the gay. And the article says there were less marriages last year, so that means tons and tons and tons of evil out-of-wedlock births by impure heathens, right?

No, there were actually:

13.5 births per 1,000 people last year, compared to a rate of 13.9 births per 1,000 people in 2008.

There were less births and less divorces? Assuming that the anti-gay argument that out-of-wedlock-births, divorces, and the erosion of marriages actually has a rational relationship to gay people in the first place then where’s the evidence they even have for that silly assumption that’s unrelated to gay people at all? There seems to be no proof, just innuendo, and nobody’s buying it anymore.

And apparently, a lot less of these staunchly pro-tradition marriage are getting, you know, married. Do they just not care enough about marriage to get one themselves? How can you defend marriage from gay people if you don’t even want one yourself?

And then there’s this: opposite marriage defenders are losing the GOP:

A solid majority of adults younger than 30 – about six in 10 – support the right of gay and lesbian couples to legally wed, according to a Washington Post poll in February.

But even many older Americans and self-identified social conservatives have changed their view on an issue that just six years ago galvanized voters in support of President George W. Bush’s reelection.

Nobody cares anymore. People care about jobs and money. That’s why nobody’s listening to these affluent conservatives ranting about marriage. They can worry about silly little things like that because they’ll never face homelessness or hunger. Their job won’t get shipped overseas. The GOP is telling Americans that Democrats are killing their jobs and then charging them high taxes – either that or their jobs are going to undocumented people. And in a country with 10% unemployment, you’re not going to convince anyone that anything other than jobs is important. People who are married are fine. In fact, people who are married are considerably more wealthy and stress-free.

Even social conservatives are done with this:

Some surveys show that support for same-sex marriage is growing even among young evangelical Christians. According to a 2008 study by the liberal-leaning group Faith in Public Life, young white evangelicals are more than twice as likely as older evangelicals to say that gay couples should be allowed to marry.

The anti-equality fight is losing churches, the Tea Party, older voters, younger voters, Republicans (conservatives and party leaders) and just about every group they would need to stay relevant. And more importantly – a lot more importantly – the side with something to lose has become the more vocal and galvanized side. Equality forces all over the country have come to NOM counter protests to voice their support for marriage. Conservatives are joining our fight (whether we like them or not) and abandoning these bigots in droves.

Even science and facts, which have never been on conservatives’ sides in the first place, are showing again a fierce opposition to anti-gay ideology.

I think this is a tipping point.