But there is a problem: Legal decisions do not change opponents' hearts or minds; instead opponents experience defeat and resentment of "activist judges". Long bitter fights can ensue, as we have so painfully seen in the case of abortion. The Michigan legislature displayed its anger and bigotry toward gays in the recently enacted law that took away unmarried partner benefits. It may well be overturned in court... but the anger and bigotry will deepen and reappear in other forms.I agree that hearts and minds must be changed along with the laws. Many gay rights organizations, for example the marriage equality organization in Oregon, are doing exactly that. Thank you, friend, for your insight.
The ACLU (a very conservative organization -- its sole mission is to conserve the Bill of Rights and other dimensions of the rule of law) has a very negative public reputation, especially among conservatives (!) because it just sues and wins, doing little to persuade the public to appreciate and support its mission.
One way to address this problem is "progress one funeral at a time" -- keep the pressure for progress up, wait for elderly bigots to die off.
The best solution is to create a constituency for progress, fairness and human rights. This must include creating a large public commitment to the Constitution as a document to be interpreted in keeping with modern problems and issues. The Occupy movement is the closest thing to that opportunity I have seen since the sixties.
However, I disagree with "progress one funeral at a time." (1) There are a lot of elderly bigots out there and it could take a while for enough to die off. (2) If we followed that method for churches the youth would simply stay away and those churches would die. I'd rather see the churches reform and attract the youth. (3) Polls have shown that elderly bigots do change their minds. Their support for marriage equality has increased.