Conservatives always loose. One reason for this is that the very essence of Conservative policies is that they want no change, and they dig in and resist it. Whether it was the southern plantation owners in the Civil War who wanted to keep everything the same, without changing, or people who are fighting gay marriage. You have already lost.
How can I make such a bold claim? I have simply looked at history, especially in America. The world, for better or worse, spins madly on, and time stops for no one. Progress is the opposite of conservation, and progress always trumps conservation. Progress lives in the here and now, as well as occupying the future. Conservation lives only in the past, and the dying present.
Adaptation is what allows things to continue living. Conservatives simply do not possess this quality. It is a quixotic task to fight for a return to the past. After something has ended, you can never return to the past, no matter how much you want too. This is applicable to gay marriage. Conservative policy is by and large calling for the return to the days when homosexuality was never discussed. That ship has long ago sailed, because at some point in human history, someone started talking, and never shut up. After one person talked about it, more people kept talking about it. You cannot put the magic winds back in the bag, and you cannot turn back the clock.
Let me be clear: I am not pontificating my political views over other views. As vehemently as I disagree with certain ideologies, I recognize that there is a grain of value in every idea. If you want to win votes, or put your social views in place, you need to adopt progress. Learn to spin time to your favor, for change will always happen, with or without you. This leaves two options for Conservatives: Continue what you are doing now, and continue to loose members to the progress of the world, or learn to shape your views into the changing facets of the world.
Tradition will always be revered and then discarded. Clinging to the past is akin to going down with a sinking ship. If you want to make a difference other than become the last dying ember of an extinguished bonfire, you must learn to adapt and change, and make that change work for the views you have. If you simply cannot do that, then your views may not be worth having. Only things that stand the test of time endure. All other things are overthrown by the progress of the next generation. That is why progress will always trump conservation.