Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 7, 2010

ARC OF HISTORY, STILL BENDING.... In the past couple of months, there have been a couple of polls showing a majority of Americans, for the first time, supporting marriage equality of gays and lesbians. A new survey published by the Pew Research Center doesn't show quite that much support for same-sex couples, but the results are encouraging anyway.

The bad news is, a 48% plurality in the poll opposed marriage equality, while 42% support it. But as Jay Bookman noted, "[I]f you look at the trend line, you can clearly see where this is headed." From the Pew report:

"For the first time in 15 years of Pew Research Center polling, fewer than half oppose same-sex marriage.

The shift in opinion on same-sex marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups. Notably, pluralities of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally - the first time this has occurred in Pew Research Center surveys. Political independents are divided in their views of same-sex-marriage; in 2009, they opposed it by a wide margin."

Looking just at Pew data, support has never been as high as it is now, and opposition has never been as low. American attitudes on marriage equality have changed steadily for many years, and the arc is bending towards justice.

What's more, whether the right is prepared to accept this or not, they're going to lose this fight. It always takes a while, but in time conservatives always lose fights over discrimination and civil rights. The Pew data makes this abundantly clear by noting the generation gap -- older Americans are the only ones who are staunch opponents, and even within this age group, support for same-sex marriage has almost doubled over the last 15 years.

I don't expect the right to just throw in the towel on this, but (1) winning elections by attacking gays is going to be a lot more difficult going forward; and (2) eventual victory is a matter of "when," not "if."

Steve Benen 4:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (9)

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There's a country song that goes something like; "You should be too busy minding your own business, to be minding mine."

-what ever happened to the concept of "Consenting Adults"?

Posted by: DAY on October 7, 2010 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

The hard-bitten right will be homophobic forever. The more pragmatic right will abandon its opposition to marriage equality when it no longer resonates at the polls. As long as ignorance and stupidity are celebrated on the right, and bigotry is worn as a badge of religious principle, there are those Christian Fascists who, in the absence of imposing their narrow view of human sexuality on the rest of us, would willingly be crucified to make the point.

I'll bring the nails if you bring the hammer.

Posted by: rrk1 on October 7, 2010 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

But...but...but...if we can't whine and moan about the evil gays, how are we going to teach little Bobby how to hate??

It ain't right, I tell you. It just ain't right.....


Posted by: Curmudgeon on October 7, 2010 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

And how much faster will majority acceptance arrive once the Federal government begins providing equal benefits to the spouses of gay/lesbian military members?
Military members can't sue the government, but their spouses can. IMO, THAT'S what's behind the built-in delay in the repeal of DADT. Based on Article V, Sections 1 and 2; DOMA is unconstitutional and will be struck down the first time it is taken into court. The Administration, undoubtedly, isn't too keen on bringing the topic up during an election that is going to be as close this one appears to be, but they're going to have to face it eventually.
Can't blame them, even if I don't like the shilly-shallying...

Posted by: Doug on October 7, 2010 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Don't worry... after the Teabaggers + their buds in the GOP take both Houses of Congress, impeach both Obama + Biden, and appoint President John of Orange, they'll quickly make homosexuality a capital offense.

I've lived *far* to long to be an optimist about Idiot America.


Posted by: Zorro on October 7, 2010 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Although Jay did say support "almost doubled" among those born between 1928 and 1945, he also said that it shifted from 20 percent to 29 percent. One of those statements is wrong.

Posted by: Suzii on October 7, 2010 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Cheese Louise, Curmudgeon (@19:44)... Don't be such a wimp! Show some creativity (however second hand). There's the Moose-slims, with their turbaned, lice-ridden heads, their uncombed beards and bombs in their halal soup cans (courtesy of Campbell)... There's the Me-hick-uns worming their way into the unsuspecting homesteads of Meg Whitman and Lou Dobbs and hunting innocent tourists on (Texan) border lakes... Jews may not be the flavor of the month anymore but, if you're discreet, they're still good for a few pokes, especially when it comes to money... There's always the baby-murdering Pelosi... And the ni66er in the *White* House...

Sheesh... There's a veritable hate-feast available, if you only look around. Who needs them gays?

Posted by: exlibra on October 7, 2010 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand why the polls matter on this. Interracial marriage restrictions were struck down by the court when a huge number of people were opposed to interracial marriage. This is a rights issue, not something we need to vote on.

Posted by: Spike on October 8, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

the new public religion research study put it this way: "Over the past five years, significantly more Americans report their views have shifted on the issue of rights for gay and lesbian people than on the issue of abortion (25% to 14% respectively)."

Posted by: dj spellchecka on October 9, 2010 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK



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