Frank Bruni: Gay Marriage ‘the Harlem Shake of Political Engagement’

Frank Bruni writes, in the NYT, about the "inevitability that hovers over" this moment with regard to LGBT equality:

BruniWhat a difference four years make. In 2008, both Clinton and Barack Obama publicly opposed same-sex marriage. Just a year ago, that was still Obama’s formal stance. But by the summer of 2012, marriage equality had made its way into the party platform. Now it’s woven into the party’s very fiber.

There’s no going back. In an ABC News/Washington Post survey released early last week, respondents nationwide favored marriage equality by a 58-to-36 margin. That’s an exact flip of a similar survey just seven years ago, when the margin was 36-to-58.

And among young Americans, who will obviously make up more and more of the electorate as time goes by, support was stronger still. The ABC/Washington Post survey showed that 81 percent of people in the 18-to-29 age group endorsed marriage equality.

The buildup to the Supreme Court hearings has demonstrated the breadth of diversity of support for it. There have been amicus briefs signed, or proclamations of solidarity issued, by dozens of professional athletes and by the American Academy of Pediatrics, by tech giants and accounting firms and retailers and airlines. Somewhere along the way, standing up for gay marriage went from nervy to trendy. It’s the Harlem Shake of political engagement.

Marriage and the Supremes [nyt]


  1. Robert says

    He’s absolutely right. We’ve had victories over the years, but the momentum we have right now is nothing short of staggering. I can’t even believe we’re starting to see NATIONAL polls in favor of marriage equality. Unthinkable until recently, really. I thank Joe Biden every day that he forced Obama’s hand on the issue. Because I think that really did help the cause.

  2. Caliban says

    I’m optimistic about the results but I think it’s potentially disastrous to start thinking about it as “inevitable.” Remember Prop 8 and the 2008 election?

    Don’t count your chickens before the hatch.

    Because it all comes down to 9 justices, 3 of which are complete $hit-heads, with Roberts maybe only a *slight* bit better. Then there’s Kennedy, the wild card.

    And even if the ruling is favorable it’s likely to be so limited it doesn’t really change anything.

    So I’m hopeful, but keeping it in perspective, or trying to.

  3. Zlick says

    I’m trying to keep my hopes even-keeled as well, but I can’t help squeeing just a bit. Double-dose of DOMA and Prop 8 hitting the U.S. Supreme Court on a groundswell of popular change towards civil rights unprecedented in American history is just too delicious not to lap it up just a little, huh?

    For me, in California, this day has been coming for 5 long years – ever since gays started legally marrying. The Prop 8 effort started the very next day, and though its passage was a gut punch like none I’ve ever known – I begin to think Prop 8 is the best thing that’s happened to gay rights in America in a long, long time.

  4. Charlie says

    I don’t care for the analogy “Somewhere along the way, standing up for gay marriage went from nervy to trendy. It’s the Harlem Shake of political engagement.”

    We are aiming for real social change, not trendiness.

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