Gay Marriage | News

Nation More Evenly Split On Marriage Equality, Inching Toward Acceptance

Justmarried Here is some great news to start the day: the latest Pew Poll on marriage equality shows that the nation's almost evenly split on whether gays and lesbians should be able to tie the knot.

According to the poll, a slim 46% plurality of Americans say gay marriage should not be legal. However, 45% said it should be legal, and with a 3% margin of error in the poll, that places the results into a statistical tie.

These numbers suggest the most robust support for same-sex marriage yet, and indicate a rapid shift toward equality for Americans. Back in 2009, only 37% of voters gave the thumbs up to gay nuptials, with 54% opposed.

As the numbers converge, they begin to look more and more like a piece of the male anatomy, and spell doom for politicians who continue to thump social issues.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...


This image, from Charles Franklin, reflects the simple question "do you believe gay marriage should be legal?" And, yes, the nation's saluting equality.

You can bet that the diehard conservatives will somehow twist this image into evidence of a gay agenda of some sort. Luckily, their numbers are slipping and someday soon the majority of the nation will finally realize anti-gay activists are total and complete bigots.

Imagine: a world where the very idea of withholding gay marriage will be unthinkable, and politicians who work against it will be voted out of office. Blissful!

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  1. I give it a decade, I actually think the haters are helping the cause because the more they scream about gay marriage bringing about the downfall of Western Civilization, the more stupid it sounds, while at the same time people are subconsciously getting used to the idea of gay people getting married...It's really just a matter of time...the 2004 election cycle will be looked back on as the zenith of homophobia in American political life...but really after a while that sort of thing gets exhausting and people move on. Even the Mexican invasion thing has sort of fizzled out a little...

    The Muslims are the ones who are gonna feel the heat for a while, then they'll get back to the Blacks with this whole race realist thing, minorities have to take turns being hated...As God intended it!

    Posted by: Keel | Mar 4, 2011 8:35:28 AM

  2. We're here, we're queer and they're getting used to it.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 4, 2011 8:35:49 AM

  3. Very good news, and even better news is the fact the majority of the pro 50% side are 18-32. The majority of the anti 50% side are older. Which means that as they die off, and as society continues progressing, this is a trend that should continue to accelerate. Also, all of these polls showing gay acceptance increasing, most people not thinking homosexuality is a sin or morally wrong, makes it even less justifiable to see politicians act the way they do towards us.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 4, 2011 8:45:44 AM

  4. While I suppose this is good news, I have a hard time getting excited about 45% of the nation being for gay marriage.

    Posted by: Matthew | Mar 4, 2011 8:49:30 AM

  5. About 20 more years, IMO. By then, the 70-80 yr. olds will be gone and the aging that are left grew up with many gay issues and it won't be such a hard sell.

    BTW, glad my male anatomy isn't pointy with sharp edges. :-)

    Posted by: johnny | Mar 4, 2011 8:55:13 AM

  6. True Matthew, but it's about perspective. Less than 10 years ago, a majority of people believed homosexuality should be illegal, and support for marriage rights was in the 30 range. Now it's basically 50-50. And, we hold the 50% who tend to be the most intelligent, and of course, we have the majority of 18-32 on our side. That means overall, if this trend continues and there is no indication it won't, we have basically already won this debate.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 4, 2011 9:04:01 AM

  7. We don't need acceptance. We just need to control our own lives.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Mar 4, 2011 9:16:37 AM

  8. It's a generational issue. Soon the old bigots will be dead and we will have our equality.

    Posted by: Leon | Mar 4, 2011 11:35:57 AM

  9. What a cute picture of those guys with the Just Married sign. The growth of gay acceptance among the young is hilarious, charming and inevitable. Hilarious because it so confounds the Huckabeebores who so grossly misperceive the expansion of consciousness.

    Posted by: Barry | Mar 4, 2011 12:10:04 PM

  10. @KEEL I hope you are right. The only problem I see with your argument is that the same haters who are screaming about us being the end of Western Civilization are themselves working to end Western Civilization! The Tea Party, the main stream Repugs, and the "conservative" Democrats who take our money and do nothing for us, are all working, overtly and covertly, to destroy the American economy, suppress the American work force, and turn us into a plutocratic theocracy.

    Posted by: Mother | Mar 4, 2011 12:25:51 PM

  11. It's better news than before, yes, and we will have our day. However, poll data like this is often misleading due to the "closet bigot factor." For every person that has the balls to openly admit they do not favor marraige equality, there are two bigots that don't. When it comes to voting time, all three cast their votes against us. I'll feel much better and have more hope when the polls aren't tied.

    Posted by: Buffy | Mar 4, 2011 12:30:24 PM

  12. My big fear is that public opinion will get frozen in this split, just like it did with abortion when that issue was finally legalized. While public acceptance of abortion was creeping up at the time, the nation will now forever be frozen in a 50/50 split over the matter.

    Posted by: Mike C. | Mar 4, 2011 1:19:07 PM

  13. I apologize for the cynicism, but half of the US still hates blacks. We're a very backwards country. So although gays may achieve marriage equality in the next decade, it will probably still never be safe for us in backwards areas of the South and Bible Belt.

    Posted by: Tobias Hunter | Mar 4, 2011 1:54:33 PM

  14. Me? I'd rather talk about the widespread support for marriage OR civil unions. Maybe if that got more press, the GOP would be a tad more restrained on outlawing recognition of CUs.

    I'd really hate to spend another decade plus, with the people behind one policy and the GOP forcing another, just like they did with DADT.

    Posted by: BobN | Mar 4, 2011 3:30:50 PM

  15. What happened in 2005?

    Posted by: Felix | Mar 4, 2011 3:31:31 PM

  16. Felix, or would that be late 2004? So that would be the well-financed Bush, Jr.-led hate-based Republican anti-gay campaigns, at the peak of their success??

    Posted by: just a guy | Mar 4, 2011 3:51:26 PM

  17. and cute picture of those guys. awww... :_-)

    Posted by: just a guy | Mar 4, 2011 3:52:07 PM

  18. @Buffy: I've heard the theory that people are afraid to admit their bigotry in polls, but I'm not convinced of that. There's a lot of pressure to BE a bigot in the more backward parts of the country, which, unfortunately, is a huge swath. (I've heard people I came out to say things like, "I'm sorry; I guess I never even really believed those horrible things I said, it's just that you're SUPPOSED to hate gay people around here.")

    There are other factors that make bigots more likely to vote.
    One is that they tend to follow fanatical leaders who convince them that it is their religious duty to legislatively attack us.
    The other major factor is that people born before World War II are much more likely not to understand these issues. They tend to be retired and to have more time on their hands to vote than young people do.
    I can tell you that there have been elections I've missed because it just seemed nearly impossible to get away from work. If I were retired, it would be far easier to vote.

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 5, 2011 12:49:17 AM

  19. @Mike C: Abortion has many more conflicting logical arguments that can give rational and educated people mixed feelings on the issue.
    Anyone with compassion would find the concept of unrestricted abortion barbaric at whatever they consider a well-developed stage of fetal development. But no rational person wants to live in a country with tens of millions of unwanted children living as wards of the state, either. There's a lot of room for gray area in between.

    When it comes to basic equality under the law, every civil rights struggle has just increased support as people got used to the idea. Allowing women to vote was immoral, unchristian and unnatural, then as the discussion advanced, people wondered "why not?" and then they got used to it and it became "of course women should vote!"
    Blacks being allowed into restaurants in the South was immoral and unchristian and unnatural, then as the discussion advanced, people started to wonder "why not?" and today they would be so firmly on-side with the issue that it's not even up for debate.

    Right now, the marriages of same-sex couples have about the same amount of public support as the marriages of interracial couples had in the 1980's.
    The patters of support for isuues like women voting, blacks going to college with whites and same-sex couples marrying follow exactly the same patterns every single time. Nearly exactly the same religious organizations are on the same sides once again, the patterns of younger people being for and older people against are the same. And once again, rural and Southern and less educated people are against. The same churches and demographics and areas of the country (San Francisco, Vermont, Massachusetts...) that supported Lincoln in his arguments against slavery are now supporting same-sex marriage.

    There really is no rational reason to oppose equal rights. Once people start seeing that the sky really does not fall and that society is actually better off with a compassionate stance, the opposition eventually disappears.

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 5, 2011 1:23:13 AM

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