At Public Discourse, Robby George argues that:
The fundamental error made by some supporters of conjugal marriage was and is, I believe, to imagine that a grand bargain could be struck with their opponents.
By “grand bargain,” George means, gay marriage as law plus religious liberty for those who disagree with gay marriage.
George agrees with and quotes the legal scholar Robert Visher, who concludes that
there is, in my opinion, no chance—no chance—of persuading champions of sexual liberation (and it should be clear by now that this is the cause they serve), that they should respect, or permit the law to respect, the conscience rights of those with whom they disagree.
Commenting on the article, R. R. Reno at First Things agrees, saying:
George is certainly right. The arguments used by progressives have a “total war” and “unconditional surrender” logic … This will not allow for bargains or compromises.
Maybe they are right. But I’m not so sure, and I can’t figure out why they are now and always have been so completely, certainly sure that no compromise is possible and that therefore the only solution is a culture war to the finish. I’ve noticed that a good number of people on both sides of the gay marriage divide do seem to agree on one thing: that their opponents are ruthless zealots with whom compromise is not only unlikely, but unthinkable.