Jon Stewart took to the airwaves Monday to celebrate LGBT Americans' hard-won victory in the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges. The Daily Show host also took the opportunity to lace into anti-gay opponents who warned of the apocalyptic consequences.
Stewart began the segment with a montage of Republican politicians and Fox News pundits. It's "some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation's history," a grim Ted Cruz said. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer called Friday's ruling a "huge loss for a democracy," while another Fox interviewer said she felt it "put a nail in the democratic process" — and of course there was polygamy.
Stewart then criticized a number of the dissenting Supreme Court justices, singling out Samuel Alito for particular scorn for his fear the decision could result in those opposed to gay marriage being labeled as bigots. In his dissent Alito wrote:
"I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools,"
But for the real reason why Republicans have lost the marriage equality debate, Stewart turned to his favorite party standard-bearer, Donald Trump. When Trump was questioned in a CNN interview about how his support for traditional marriage squared against his own three marriages, the Donald had no answer and could only concede it was "a very good point."
Stewart's takedown highlights what will likely become one of the central issues and liabilities of the 2016 Republican presidential contest. While marriage equality is now the law of the land, almost every major Republican candidate has since spoken out against the decision that granted it.
As the issue is set to become an increasingly normal part of American life, a number of major candidates are backing a renewed call for a Constitutional amendment that would effectively ban marriage equality. As polls show more and more Americans in favor of same-sex relationships, Republican candidates have staked out positions increasingly at odds with the mainstream.
As Trump's wife-swapping ways attest, the idea of traditional marriage is often talked about far more than it is actually lived. This, and other hypocrisies that lie at the heart of those opposed to same-sex marriage, will likely receive a full airing in the months to come as the Republican debates approach.