Have We Reached a Tipping Point on Gay Marriage?

Monday, April 25, 2011 - 11:55 AM

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.


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Comments [8]

billy Wingarden from Baltimore

the only reason the country isnt ready for gay marriage is the hate groups , most of which have the word "family" in their name.

And most are headed by self loathing gays or those who still look up to the baptist church of slavery segregation and the KKK.

And the cahtolic church headed by a man who grew up and learned well his lessons in Nazi Germany, our friend RATZInger.

One would think the cardinals would have look at his name and said "god is sending us a messsage about this guy"

Of course whats happening is hte church of the endless hidden molestation is circling its wagons in the last fight of its life.

IN the past we had the HOLY Inquisition, where anyone who dared to speak agaisnt the church was imprisoned, butned at the stake or tossed in boiling oil.

And they hated the Jews because the Jewss wouldn't convert.

A hatred Hitler, a born and baptised catholic leveraged to power, and 55 million died for the church of life.

Now doing its part with right wing extremist christians to help dirve several thousand gay kids to suicide every year.

A repeating 9-11.

Apr. 28 2011 01:28 AM
Solomon Kleinsmith from Omaha, NE

It's always funny to me how people go after polling that doesn't fit their world view as being flawed, but laud it when it says what they want it to. This happens just as much on the left as the right (I've seen some if it in the center as well).

There are things I disagree with that a clear majority of the American people support, but I don't pretend that my beliefs are a valid critique of the efficacy of polling, which has been shown to be quite accurate. There are valid critiques that can be made against specific polling sometimes, nitpicking about the wording of things, but the above is based on long term trends and hundreds of polls. That data is far and beyond more reliable than any skeptic.

Apr. 27 2011 01:21 PM

SC guy, the people who have gotten through to you are the anti-gay, who are extremely bold and extremely, hysterically loud on this issue. They are screeching about it at the top of their lungs and insisting on being heard at any cost. Moreover, and far more chillingly, they are willing to win at any cost, which has turned this social issue into a series of exceptionally savage knock-down-drag-out fights.

Note that that means that the pro-gay and the gay activists are not about to back off or give in.

I don't believe what *you* say any more than you believe the polls. I believe the anti-gay have gotten through to you and stomp-kicked down your gaping throat what they WANT you to believe -- that "no one in this country wants gay marriage." This is such laughable claptrap that it deserves no dignity whatsoever. As others in this comments section have pointed out, people like you need to be reminded over, and over, and over, and over that the U. S. Constitution. says. that. we. are. all. equal. Haven't learned it yet? Get ready. The courts are going to teach you within the next decade or two, at most. And I privately suspect you know that.

Apr. 26 2011 05:43 AM
Norman from Los Angeles

SC Guy-statistically, polls are over 95% right so the polls dont SC of course youre still pretty backwards-ya'll will accept gay marriage when ordered to-which will be in a few years

Apr. 26 2011 01:17 AM
Richard from Orlando, Fl

Separate but Equal is not the answer. I agree that the Government should stay out of marriage, but they are not. As long as the Government is in the business of regulating marriage, MARRIAGE is what they recognize, not Civil Unions. The only way to be treated equally is to BE TREATED EQUALLY, not to be separated to show we are not as legitimate.

Apr. 25 2011 08:54 PM
David in Houston from Houston, TX

The problem with people, such as Maggie Gallagher from NOM, have in "defending marriage" is the obtuseness of their arguments. She often says things like, "Marriage is the union of a mother and father, creating the best environment for their children." No one is arguing that children do best when they have parents. But does that describe everyone's marriage? Hardly.

What about couples that don't want children, or infertile couples, or the elderly? Why are they permitted to marry, if marriage is all about procreation? What about gay couples that are raising children (either through adoption or previous heterosexual relationships)? Shouldn't those children be entitled to legally married parents? Aren't those families at risk if their relationships aren't considered legal?

Apr. 25 2011 05:01 PM
Jason from Wilson, North Carolina

SC Guy: So you're saying that the country isn't "ready" to treat me as an equal person in the eyes of the law? Frankly, why should that matter? It needs to happen, whether the country is "ready" or not. Racism wouldn't be tolerated on the basis of "people aren't ready to see blacks as people". This is no different. And I'm really intrigued by your statement that the polls are "wrong at best". Where do you come up with that?

Apr. 25 2011 03:46 PM
SC Guy from South Carolina

The problem for you in this is that polling is and always has been highly unreliable on this issue. That means that the polls that find the voters split or even a narrow majority supporting gay marriage are wrong at best. I don't believe that the country is at all ready for gay marriage.

Apr. 25 2011 03:26 PM

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