There’s a general and a specific response I have to you.
The specific: W got re-elected largely by pushing a wave of anti gay marriage state constitution amendments in 2004 that brought the creeps out to vote. DOMA had passed Congress with veto-proof majorities a mere 8 years previous and was signed into law by Clinton. Not even Obama thought gay marriage was a good idea until Sleepy Joe forced him to say so. The backlash was swift and punishing against the bigots. People like me who has never really even thought about the issue before were suddenly steadfastly opposers to any and all politicians who were anti-gay bigots, and a mere two election cycles after W’s reelection, Obergefel (sp?) was the law of the land. My point is that they can awaken beasts they want no part of awakening. It has happened before and will happen again. We’ve never seen the Court strip away a previously granted right. We’re in uncharted waters and it may get ugly, but the side of humanism will win.
The general: “This time is different” has been the refrain since the day Jesus emerged from behind the rock and promised to return. Malthusian thinking is not new and is also perpetual. Eventually there will come a day when this time will, in fact, be different. But every generation thinks that time is now and has so since the beginning of time. I am, admittedly, a betting man, and I like betting on solid favorites. Takes a lot for me to take an underdog. The reason is that everyone wants an underdog to win and everyone thinks he’s smarter than the market, so the value is usually on the favorite. Same here. We have a cognitive bias toward the here and now, but past is prologue, and there’s no actual reason to suspect this time is different.
We’ve come a long way in a short period of time with respect to individual rights and respect for each other. In the 90s when I went to high school “fag” was the #1 insult and “nigger” wasn’t exactly rare. As a result there were like 2 openly gay people in my 2500 person high school. That was <25 years ago. Try to see the forest for the trees. This is a backlash. And it hurts and it sucks. No doubt. And it’s going to affect a lot of innocent people. But the arc of history is bending toward Justice at an incredible pace.