The constant low grumble that has characterized the anti gay rights camp suddenly is sounding more like a high-pitched whimper during a week that ended with the dramatic resignation of a veteran social conservative.

To be certain, social conservatives continue a downward spiral as wedge issue after wedge issue failed them in November. Hispanics did not forget a push to drive out illegals on Election Day when they came together as a new political force by voting overwhelmingly for President-elect Barack Obama. Feminism won when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, running as a Republican vice presidential candidate, accepted the mantel of feminist. Abortion seems to have been contained as a wedge issue. And race, well, that's self evident.

But social conservatives wiped their brows on Election Day as four anti-gay measures in California, Arizona, Florida and Arkansas were approved by voters.

Slaphappy social conservatives ready to cash in on political capital earned from backing such measures quickly extolled their wins are proof they remain relevant to a tattered Republican Party that appears to be moving away from social issues.

The new plan, however, seems to be losing its footing. First came the protests against passage of gay marriage bans in California, Arizona and Florida, where religious leaders – particularly the Mormon Church – found themselves on the defensive.

And while this collective post-election anti-gay wail has steadily increased its rancour and sharpened its tone, it continues to be met with an equally louder resistance.

Last week's full page ad in the New York Times blasting grassroots demonstrations against the passage of gay marriage bans as mob “intimidation” was quickly labeled “untruthful” by gay activists groups, who responded with their own ad.

In the anti-gay ad, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty came to the defense of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS or Mormons) who became a target of grassroots gay activists after their overwhelming support for California's gay marriage ban most likely tipped the passage of the anti-gay measure.

“[W]e're united in this: The violence and intimidation being directed against the LDS or 'Mormon' church, and other religious organizations – and even against individual believers – simply because they supported Proposition 8 is an outrage that must stop,” the ad reads.

The advertisement, titled No Mob Veto, calls the demonstrations against Proposition 8  “mobs, seeking not to persuade but to intimidate.”

It calls for an end to anti-religious propaganda: “It has no place in civilized society.”

And vows to work against demonstrators by “exposing and publicly shaming anyone who resorts to the rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry – against any faith, on any side of any cause, for any reason.”

“These anti-gay activists are crying wolf on the Proposition 8 protests, but they actually are a wolf in sheep's clothing that preaches religious tolerance while practicing the most defamatory form of religious bigotry,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen, whose group is backing the gay response. “We refuse to permit this orchestrated campaign to rewrite history, nor will we allow some of the most notorious Mormon bashers in America to pose as friends of the Latter-day Saints.”

The pro-gay ad calls the No Mob Veto ad a lie. “Those demonstrations across the country were remarkably peaceful and were a vivid example of Americans exercising their free speech rights, and we think it's inexcusable for anyone to misrepresent these protests for political gain.”

On the campus of the University of Washington, students protested the publication of an anti-gay marriage rant in their school paper.

Protesters found both the content of the article and the accompanying image of a man and a sheep objectionable. Several school groups have called for an apology from its editor-in-chief, Sarah Jeglum.

Its author, John Fay, argued that gay and lesbian couples should be banned from marrying because “once you've legalized gay marriage, why not polygamy, incest, bestiality or any other form of union?”

“Last week, The Daily published a homophobic image and opinion article,” said Kathy Rice, who established Students for a Hate Free Daily as a response to Fay's column and helped organize the protest. “That article incited fear into many members of the LGBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] and allied community.”

And in Florida, gay marriage backers demonstrated outside the wedding of Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

Across from the First United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida where Crist, 52, and Carole Rome, 39, were married about 250 demonstrator gathered to protest Florida's passage of a gay marriage ban.

“He supported denying the right to marry to millions of Floridians, and now, barely a month later, he's exercising that same right himself. I don't care if he's gay, straight, bi – whatever – that's pretty hypocritical,” Lorna Bracewell, a spokeswoman for Impact Florida, the group behind the protest, told On Top Magazine.

The most dramatic move, however, came on Thursday when the Rev. Richard Cizik, who just last week signed onto the No Mob Veto ad, resigned after 28 years representing the National Association of Evangelicals after signaling that he was “shifting” towards gay marriage.

In a Dec. 2 interview on National Public Radio's Fresh Air show with Terry Gross, Cizik confirmed his shifting views on gay unions.

“Two years ago,” Gross asked, “you said you were still opposed to gay marriage. But now as you identify more and more with the younger voters and their priorities, have you changed on gay marriage?”

“I'm shifting, I have to admit,” Cizik responded. “In other words, I would willingly say I believe in civil unions. I don't officially support redefining marriage from its traditional definition, I don't think.”

And it was our own Gay Entertainment Report that brought me news that Showtime is prepping a reality-based series that follows a gay or lesbian person that has lived a closeted life as they reveal their true sexual orientation to friends and family.

The Gay Slant is a weekly feature of On Top Magazine. Walter Weeks is a writer for On Top and can be reached at