Ed O'Neill has the answer.
Unlike a lot of social conservatives, I'm not particularly worked up about the judicial activist forcing of gay marriage in just about every state. While I oppose it - well, insofar as I think gay marriage isn't a reality no matter how many laws are passed - in a way the whole thing is welcome as far as I'm concerned.
See, one thing to keep in mind is that the legalization of gay marriage isn't really the end goal of most LGBT activists, or the "progressives" in general. The end goal is respect. Not the mere gesture of respect in public, or formal signs of respect, but the sincere and deeply held conviction - on behalf of just about anyone - that a gay couple is equivalent in all ways to a traditional heterosexual couple. Gay marriage is, in that way, not even an end goal of LGBT people, but the means to an end - just as civil unions were, just as every forced gesture in every bit of media has been. They don't want laws. They don't even want changes in culture. They don't want mere acceptance. They want that personal capitulation, the conversion of the mind and soul.
And it's not going to happen.
I don't mean it's not going to happen because of the dedicated conviction of social conservatives or the like. I think it's entirely possible they will altogether roll, at least for a while, in the public sphere. But that's back to the public gesturing, the 'what will they say when the cameras are on them and the public is listening' situation. But no matter how many laws are passed, no matter how dangerous it is oppose gay marriage or criticize same-sex sexual behavior, once you get past those public acts of capitulation, you still have the mind behind the mask to deal with. And I really believe that most people - even most "progressives" - will, when the lights are off and they're among friends, frankly admit that two lesbians in tuxedos walking down the church aisle is, like Ed O'Neill says, pretty funny.
"Progressives" will object, of course, since I'm including them in this silent conspiracy. Here, look at these pictures of these two clean-cut men embracing at their wedding! Their love is every bit as genuine and worthy of calling a marriage as... etc, etc. Pardon me if I say that's hard to believe, if only because of the number of people - and I'm including, by the way, gays and lesbians in this - who will insist on this "progressive" orthodoxy in public, but in private admit that, okay, yeah, this is a bit of a farce when you get right down to it. It may be a nice ceremony. There can be some real affection, of course, beyond the sex. But the relationship, such as it is, is undeniably distinct - its own thing - compared to a man and woman committing to a monogamous child-rearing lifelong relationship, end of story, and a million and one laws, gay video game characters and more won't change this.
Eventually, I suspect, this is going to sink into the public consciousness as well. It may take fifty years, it may take a hundred, but sooner or later there's going to be a moment where the world looks back at this period and goes 'What in the world were they thinking?' and the sociologists and historians will try to frame it this way or that. In the meantime, I'm a bit more optimistic about the change of laws. Legal, celebrated gay weddings give cynics something to grin at, a religious sacrament we can honestly feel comfortable blaspheming against.
Let's do it with good cheer and humor, eh?