Have We Reached a Tipping Point on Gay Marriage?

Fresh polling shows the first two generations, those under fifty, supporting gay marriage at record numbers. How long until that becomes the law of the land in more states?

Only have a few states have legalized gay marriage, but this isn't all that unexpected given that there are only a few places where there are wide majorities that support it. Even in places with majorities supporting it, the issue isn't at the top of peoples' priorities list, especially with military conflicts and economic issues ongoing that effect all of us.

This being the case, it is only logical to think that when the numbers in support of gay marriage get into the supermajority range, the number of states that start legalizing it will begin falling like dominoes. As it stands, those who are under the age of fifty are already there, polling at about sixty percent in support of gay marriage.

As society continues to move in the direction of acceptance, older folks will likely shift that way slowly, older generations that are less accepting will (pardon the frankness) die off, and younger generations that are even more accepting will grow up and assert their beliefs more aggressively on the political stage. By the looks of things, this may take a generation, but there is no sign that this trend is abating.

Gay marriage supporters could have gotten the same rights, but called it something like civil unions rather than marriage, in a heck of a lot more places than they have it now. If you take the word marriage out of the equation, you immediately get a spike in support of gay couples having the same legal rights.

Most of the gay and lesbian folks I've talked to about this would rather have rights, like having their significant other visit them in the hospital during family only hours, now than wait until some time in the next few decades when it becomes legal. But it is a political football that the Left wants to hold onto, rather than solve... so here we are. I've even talked to professional Democratic operatives, during my time trying to fit into the party a few years ago, who admitted to me this was their intention... to hold onto the issue as long as they could. This is evidenced by how long Democrats waited to push on even ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, action with overwhelming support in polls.

I'm not gay myself, but I could care less what the government calls my relationship to a future life mate who's life I decide to legally join with mine. If it were up to me, all such legal unions would be called civil unions and we'd get the government out of the whole business of marriage altogether. If people want to get the "marriage" label, they can go to a church, or hire someone to perform a ceremony or some other kind. There are plenty of churches who are happy to marry same sex couples, like Unitarians and the United Church of Christ.

Labels might be important to some, but it isn't the government's job to confer social/cultural titles like that. It is the government's job to treat people equally. The social hangup that many people have to calling committed same sex relationships marriages should not be allowed to hold up equal rights from being conferred onto committed same sex couples. Whatever you want to call it, it needs to pass.

Solomon Kleinsmith is a nonprofit worker, serial social entrepreneur and strident centrist independent blogger from Omaha, Nebraska. His website, Rise of the Center, is the fastest growing blog targeting centrist independents and moderates. He is currently collaborating with other centrist independent and moderate bloggers on a news aggregation and social networking site, and is always looking for ways to help the independent groundswell as more and more people become disaffected with the two major parties.