SCOTUS’ decision transformed the country, but don’t expect its opponents to go quietly into that good night
For the sake of argument, let’s take it as self-evident that Obergefell v. Hodges—the Supreme Court case that declared it unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriages—will forever change how this country talks about gay rights.
There are obvious comparisons between this ruling and Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court case that deemed segregation to be unconstitutional. Within a few years of the highest bench in the land requiring all states to integrate, it became socially unacceptable to openly advocate a return to segregation. Hence when George Wallace, one of the most famous segregationists of the era, decided to run for president in 1968, he tapped into racial prejudices through proxy issues, a sort of “code,” that included racialized references to issues ranging from crime to welfare policy (Wallace won almost 13.5% of the popular vote and 46 electoral votes, both extraordinarily high for a third-party candidate).