The Left’s persecution of Elaine Photography in New Mexico for refusing to shoot a same-sex “wedding” that we discussed previously is but one of a string of legal challenges facing American citizens who oppose redefining marriage.

So far, a Kentucky T-shirt company, an Indiana cookie shop, a Colorado bakery, and an Oregon bakery have all found themselves on the receiving end of “discrimination” charges.

The implications are terrifying for conservative and religious Americans who want only to live in accordance with their values. But it could also be the opportunity marriage defenders have been waiting for to reverse our political fortunes.

Regardless of where you stand on gay marriage, it’s hard not to feel a sense of inevitability toward marriage’s redefinition. Liberal propagandists would have you believe it’s because history is marching the country toward a more enlightened tomorrow, but the truth is it’s only because proponents have saturated the public consciousness with emotional appeals while opponents have had nowhere near as much high-profile representation to counter it.

So far, redefiners have enjoyed the benefit of seeming like they’re the ones who want only to live and let live, with conservatives pegged as the ones using government to cast judgment on gay Americans’ private lives. It’s a massive caricature, but an effective one that appeals to many people’s intuitions when it’s all they hear on the subject.

But this latest wave of persecution—fines, coercion, intimidation, blacklisting, even possible jail time—turns that completely on its head. Suddenly, the redefiners have assumed the role of the tyrants who refuse to live and let live, and traditionalists are the ones facing not only oppression, but oppression of a kind far more literal and tangible than gay couples who can’t get marriage licenses but otherwise remain free to live and love each other however they wish.

The truth is, the Left was never going to be content with legal recognition for gay unions. Thought reconditioning via state power was always part of the plan.

Republicans has always struggled to recognize the mileage the Left gets out of moral indignation, and a misguided aversion to emulating it for fear of stooping to their level. But righteous fury against real assaults on liberty isn’t the same as feigned outrage over fabricated offenses.

So now that the plan’s latest step has been laid bare, let’s see how many well-intentioned Americans who thought they were merely being gay-friendly by siding with redefinition are willing to go along with it.

Let’s see how many Democrats are comfortable having it hung around their necks. Let’s see if they’ve got a good explanation for why people should be relegated to second-class citizen status for opposing something their party has only supported for a year—for holding a belief President Obama claimed to share for the majority of his first term.

Let’s see if The One can square it with his belief that “our democracy might work a bit better if we recognized that all of us possess values that are worthy of respect,” as he expressed in The Audacity of Hope.

And let’s see how many voters are convinced by assurances that churches aren’t the Tolerance Inquisition’s next target.