David Bernstein writes at the Washington Post‘s Volokh Conspiracy blog:
“Many religious Christians of a traditionalist bent believed that liberals not only reduce their deeply held beliefs to bigotry, but want to run them out of their jobs, close down their stores and undermine their institutions. … I hope liberals really enjoyed running Brendan Eich out of his job and closing down the Sweet Cakes bakery, because it cost them the Supreme Court.”
I think there’s truth to that. LGBT progressives along with gay libertarians and center-right conservatives worked to achieve marriage equality. Then the left, instead of accepting victory and seeking to live (and let live) with those of differing views, went the authoritarian route and decided to use the power of the progressive state (federally and in in left-leaning localities) to force Christian conservatives to provide creative services for same-sex weddings, among other assaults on religious liberty.
Bernstein points to, as a turning point, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli saying during the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Obergefell that religiously affiliated schools might lose their tax exempt status if they refused to recognize same-sex marriages. I’m not sure that particular statement “cost his party the election,” but it was part of a larger culture war attack strategy that did.
Bernstein also cites a recent column by Megan McArdle at Bloomberg, The Left’s Doomed Effort to Coerce the Right, that notes:
Over the last few years, as controversies have erupted over the rights of cake bakers and pizza places to refuse to cater gay weddings, the rights of nuns to refuse to provide insurance that covers birth control, the rights of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions, and the rights of Christian schools to teach (and require students and teachers to practice) traditional Christian morality, some Christians have begun to feel that their communities are under existential threat. …
I’ve heard from a number of evangelicals who, despite their reservations about the man, ended up voting for Donald Trump because they fear that the left is out to build a world where it will not be possible to hold any prominent job while holding onto their church’s beliefs about sexuality. Discussions I’ve had in recent days with nice, well-meaning progressives suggest that this is not a paranoid fantasy. An online publisher’s witch hunt against two television personalities — because of the church they attend — validates the fears of these Christians.
And Tammy Bruce writes at the Washington Times:
“As a gay woman, I find it embarrassing to watch gays publicly harass individuals simply for who they are. For several years now we have watched so-called gay leadership and their affiliated activists target Christians and their businesses to either punish them and send a message to everyone else — either conform to the liberal narrative or suffer grave consequences.”
For the past few years I’ve been raising these issues and warning the LGBT left of how counter-productive its attacks on people of faith were. The response was typically to mock me for not recognizing the new order in which there would be no tolerance of religious exemptions from government-mandated behavior. The brewing backlash was evident to all, excepting those who have eyes but could not see, and ears but could not hear.