It often happens that some piece of social evolution is impeded by right-wingers, on the basis that it will do untold, awful harm to society, and that oooh, just you wait and see, the consequences will be beyond belief in their dreadfulness.
And then it happens, and all is well, and all continues well.
And oddly, they are rarely if ever called on it.
The current example is gay marriage. Civil partnership is a done deal, so they now pretend to be okay with that (of course, they weren't five years ago) and just terrified of the terrible things that will happen if gay marriage comes to pass. They're generally pretty vague on what these are, or course, as is the custom with such things. And sensible people try to engage them in argument on this, which is quite difficult, because they rarely have a coherent argument in the first place.
At this point, it's getting slightly ridiculous. They should put up or shut up. Of course, they won't; gay marriage, once passed, will be just another thing that they say "oh, we've always been fine with that; it's [next-thing] we're worried about" to.
Past examples of things which would destroy society (some of which will still destroy society depending upon where one happens to live):
- Women voting
- Removal of property qualifications for voting
- Black people voting (in US)
- Racially integrated education (particularly in US)
- Religiously integrated education
- Interracial marriage and/or sex (in US)
- The secular state
- Sex education
- Gay teachers, police, military etc.
- Criminalisation of marital rape
- Decriminalisation of cannabis
- Decriminalisation of homosexuality
- Civil partnerships
- Gay marriage
- Abolition of literary censorship
- Adoption by same-sex couples
In places where these things have been implemented, there is usually a grace period of up to ten years in which the right wing feel they can complain about them (and all of these things were complained about vociferously when they were proposed). And then their tune changes; you won't find many Irish right-wingers today saying "We should ban homosexuality, arbitrarily censor books, and prosecute people for trafficking in condoms", and yet the very same people who opposed the legalisation of all those things in the past few decades are still in circulation, complaining about other things.
This will almost certainly happen with gay marriage as well, once it passes; you already have vociferous opponents of Norris's civil partnership bill way back in 2005 saying that they have no problem with civil partnership, but that gay marriage is a bridge too far. And they never really explain how this dramatic transformation came about.
Of course, we know how it came about. Opposing something not yet legal on the alleged basis that it might do terrible things to society is cautious and principled, but demanding that homosexuality be banned or the vote stripped from women makes you look like a mad fascist. Their opinions haven't really changed; it's just image management.