How Republics Die

This ruling wasn't quite as bad as Roe, in that while a majority still support some restrictions on abortion, there has been a movement in public opinion on same-sex marriage in recent years. It was becoming legal in more and more states (though often, as was the case here, not by a popular vote, but by judicial fiat). Such a trend was probably inevitable, and young people are much more favorable to the idea than older ones (though they may change their minds as they age, as people do on many other issues). It was creating a problem in terms of "full faith and credit" between states that recognized it and those that did not.

But the Founders foresaw this sort of thing. That is why they put a provision into the founding document to deal with it. The proper way to address the issue, in terms of making  SSM universal, was not to manufacture a new right from the Constitution, but rather to amend it. But that is something that hasn't happened in a long time, because it is (rightly) difficult to do, and the Congress, the courts and the public have become too impatient, and prefer to sidestep it (which in fact has happened in, among other things, the federal War on Drugs, which somehow didn't seem to require an amendment even though the prohibition of alcohol did).

The Constitution was meant to be the bedrock of laws, and the laws were to be enacted by the Congress, and signed by the president, not ignored or superseded by the president, or rewritten by the chief justice, to satisfy their own preferences, or those of others, even a majority. We are neither a tyranny of men, or that of a majority. As has often been told, when Benjamin Franklin came out of the Constitutional Convention, a woman asked him, "Mr. Franklin, what have you given us?" His reply: "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."

When we ignore and side step the Constitutional and legal process to achieve a desired end, the bedrock starts to turn to sand. When the laws are ignored by those who have sworn to uphold or review them, the rule of law itself disintegrates. When the public doesn't care, or understand the role of the branches of government, but votes anyway for people who tell them they'll just give them stuff they like, that is how republics are lost.