Joseph Bottum has reversed course on his opposition to gay marriage.

Bottum, the former editor in chief of religious journal First Things, made his about face in a lengthy essay titled The Things We Share: A Catholic's Case for Same-Sex Marriage published Friday on the website of Commonweal magazine.

Bottum argues that the legal debate is over and opponents have lost.

“Not the fact of the legality of same-sex marriage, exactly. That ship has already sailed, as well it ought to have. By July 2013, thirteen states had already recognized it, and under any principle of governmental fairness available today, the equities are all on the side of same-sex marriage. There is no coherent jurisprudential argument against it – no principled legal view that can resist it. The Supreme Court more or less punted this June in its marriage cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, but it was a punt that signaled eventual victory for advocates of same-sex marriage. And by ruling in Windsor that Section 3 of DOMA (the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act) is unconstitutional, the justices made it clear that the court will not stand in the way of the movement’s complete triumph. We are now at the point where, I believe, American Catholics should accept state recognition of same-sex marriage simply because they are Americans.”

His main argument, however, is that the church is being harmed by its opposition.

“Campaigns against same-sex marriage are hurting the church, offering the opportunity to make Catholicism a byword for repression in a generation that, even among young Catholics, just doesn’t think that same-sex activity is worth fighting about. There’s a reasonable case to be made that the struggle against abortion is slowly winning, but the fight against public acceptance of same-sex behavior has been utterly lost.”

In an interview with The New York Times, Bottum added that he had also given up on politics as a vehicle for social change.

“I'll vote Republican, because I'm a Republican. But I don't believe a change in culture can come from politics. It can only come from re-enchantment with the world,” he said.