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Study Finds Straight People - And Even Many Gays - Are Still Alarmingly Uncomfortable With Same-Sex PDA

Becker.John

Some gay activists have long espoused a theory that the so-called "ick factor" — straight people's aversion to the idea of same-sex intimacy, especially involving men — is a fundamental obstacle to full equality. It helps explain the strategy behind historical gay kiss-in protests — or, more recently, same-sex couples posting photos of themselves kissing (above) on the Facebook page of anti-gay reality stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

But now a scientific study gives credence to the "ick factor" theory and, in doing so, could even help chart a course for the LGBT movement post-marriage equality.

The study, authored by Indiana University researcher Logan Doan and published in The American Sociological Review, surveyed more than 1,000 people and found that while 70 percent of heterosexuals support things like inheritance rights for same-sex couples, only 55 percent approve of gay men kissing on the cheek in public, according to Al Jazeera America. That's compared to 95 percent who approve of straight couples kissing on the cheek in public.

What's more, over 20 percent of heterosexual respondents said they disapprove of gay men talking about their relationships.

Even gay male respondents were less approving of gay PDAs than straight PDAs — perhaps, Doan says, due to internalized stigma and an inherent fear of hate crimes. And not surprisingly, heterosexual respondents were far more approving of lesbian PDAs, at a rate of 72 percent.

But approval of gay male PDAs was similar to support for same-sex marriage (53 percent), which many Americans view as a social construct separate from equal legal rights. And while marriage equality can be achieved in the courts, it seems a significant percentage of straight Americans still won't approve of same-sex relationships on a moral level.

From Al Jazeera America:

“We had civil rights laws long before we had positive attitudes toward ethnic minorities,” Doan said, adding that Americans support rights because they see themselves as egalitarian, regardless of their personal views on homosexuality.

“The more informal, subtle types of prejudice linger much longer, because that actually requires people to change their views,” he said. ...

The survey may offer clues to gay rights activists on the direction of the movement going forward, Doan said. “It would be great to take a more comprehensive approach.”

“There’s this informal type of prejudice that has primarily been neglected. There’s a push for more positive portrayals in the media, but the bulk of what people think of when they think of the gay rights movement is marriage,” he said.

Of course, we all know marriage equality isn't going to stop gay youth from being rejected by their families, or LGBT people from being fired by their employers — much of which correllates to the "ick factor."

But the solution isn't just more same-sex PDAs or gay sex on TV. It's for gay people to be not only out, but also open about their relationships.

Before we can do that, though — as the study's finding of lower approval for same-sex PDAs among gays would suggest — we'll first need to fully accept ourselves.


Eric Holder Announces Federal Government Will Recognize Gay Marriage in Seven New States: VIDEO

Holder

Responding to the Supreme Court's marriage decision last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the federal government will begin recognizing same-sex marriages taking place in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Idaho - with additional states likely to follow.

Said Holder:

“I am pleased to announce that the federal government will recognize the same-sex marriages now taking place in the affected states, and I have directed lawyers here at the Department of Justice to work with our colleagues at agencies across the Administration to ensure that all applicable federal benefits are extended to those couples as soon as possible.  We will not delay in fulfilling our responsibility to afford every eligible couple, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, the full rights and responsibilities to which they are entitled.

He continued:

The steady progress toward LGBT equality we’ve seen – and celebrated – is important and historic.  But there remain too many places in this country where men and women cannot visit their partners in the hospital, or be recognized as the rightful parents of their own adopted children; where people can be discriminated against just because they are gay.  Challenges to marriage restrictions are still being actively litigated in courts across the country.  And while federal appeals courts have so far been unanimous in finding that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, if a disagreement does arise, the Supreme Court may address the question head-on.  If that happens, the Justice Department is prepared to file a brief consistent with its past support for marriage equality. 

Watch Holder's full remarks HERE.

In addition to the seven states above, marriage equality has also come to West Virginia, North Carolina, and Arizona (announced earlier today).

Gay marriage began in Alaska but has since been put on hold while the state appeals a pro-equality ruling to the Supreme Court (expect marriages to resume later today)

A federal court ruling in the challenge to Wyoming's gay marriage ban is expected Monday, with Governor Matt Mead saying the state will respect whatever decision is made.


Indiana State Rep. Tim Wesco Warns Of Possibility For Polygamy Following SCOTUS Ruling

Though many prominent members of the GOP have come forward in support of marriage equality over the past few months, others are holding fast to their "traditional" point-of-view. Representative Tim Wesco of Indiana's 21st district is one such individual.

WestcoA proponent of that state's proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, Wesco said, "I personally can never change my view on that. I'm solid that marriage is between a man and a woman." Unfortunately for Wesco, his perspective is becoming the exception to the marriage equality rule; furthermore, his belief that polygamy could be the next deteriorating shot fired at "traditional marriage" is very nearly a tired cliché.

The Elkhart Truth reports:

“Unfortunately, the courts have grown increasingly powerful in the past decade,” said Wesco, facing Democrat Jodi Buoscio for the District 21 seat in elections in November.

He said the Supreme Court, by paving the way for same-sex marriage, isn’t protecting the right to marriage. Rather, it’s aiding in redefining marriage.

“I think the time is coming down the road when it is going to go beyond only same-sex marriage,” Wesco said, hinting at the possibility of polygamy gaining legal protection. If marriage could be expanded to include same-sex couples, then “why can’t three or four people get married?”

Wesco's fears hold no water for the time being, and as we reported several days ago, happy reports of successful marriage license acquisition are coming out of Indiana and several other states.


Notre Dame: We'll Comply with New Indiana Marriage Equality Laws Even Though We're Catholic

Notredame

The University of Notre Dame has told its employees via email that it will extend benefits to same-sex spouses in light of the legalization of gay marriage in Indiana, the AP reports:

The email says: "Notre Dame is a Catholic university and endorses a Catholic view of marriage. However, it will follow the relevant civil law and begin to implement this change immediately."


WATCH: Gay Couples Tie the Knot in Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, Utah, and Wisconsin

Virginia

Huge day for equality as gay couples in Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Wisconsin have finally secured the freedom to marry after the Supreme Court refused to review seven gay marriage cases before it this morning.

The court's decision has also paved the way for marriage equality to begin in Colorado, Kansas, West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Wyoming in the near future. 

Tons of footage and pictures are streaming in from couples who are taking part in this historic day. Check out our rolling coverage AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

(photo via Instagram)

Continue reading "WATCH: Gay Couples Tie the Knot in Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, Utah, and Wisconsin" »


Indiana Begins Issuing Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples; Plaintiffs Speak Out: VIDEO

Plaintiffs_indiana

Marion County, Indiana Clerk Beth White began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples immediately this morning following the Supreme Court's denial of the challenge to the appeal of the Seventh Circuit Court's decision declaring Indiana's ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional, WTHR reports:

"I am delighted to once again welcome all loving Hoosier couples to the Clerk's Office to obtain a marriage license," said Clerk Beth White. "Limbo for these couples is over and they can expect nothing but dignity and respect from our marriage license staff when they arrive."

"We will not offer civil ceremonies as we did in June when same-sex marriage was briefly allowed in Indiana since the same state of urgency does not exist," White said. "When couples decide when their wedding day will be, they have 60 days to use their license."

Prospective applicants are asked to research what the process entails before coming to the Clerk's Office for a license by visiting indy.gov/clerk.

More info here.

Plaintiffs in the Indiana case spoke out shortly after this morning's announcement.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Indiana Begins Issuing Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples; Plaintiffs Speak Out: VIDEO" »


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