47% seems amazingly high, but it’s still a minority. And remember in California which must be one of the most liberal states, while opinion polls showed a narrow majority in favour of gay marriage, when it came down to it a majority voted against. That’s why civil unions with a backing of 75% make the only political sense at the moment. Why would Obama risk the kind of gay debacle that haunted Bill Clinton with his fudged “don’t ask don’t tell” farce. He can achieve FULL LEGAL EQUALITY as he has promised, and carry the majority of Americans with him by introducing Civil unions. Everyone will call them gay marriages anyway like we do with civil parterships in Britain. To adopt the “it’s not equal unless it’s called MARRIAGE” line, could delay much needed legislation for years/decades even. Obama is the best hope that Gays in the US have had EVER. Are they really going to blow it, over the terminolgy, rather than the content of the legislation?
47 to 49% is only a 2% difference and there is a year on year shift so it will be a majority very soon.
Interesting that this gives proof that overwhelmingly the most significant cause of changing people’s attitudes to make them more supportive of equality is knowing gay people. This sends a strong message to people to help themselves and help their community by being out to everyone they know.
With the number of married families in the USA, its still surprising so many are anti-marriage. But then again, we do sometimes follow the Brits, who also remain anti-marriage!
I agree with Ali that accepting civil unions now is a much better option than holding out for ‘marriage rights’ later, even though this is still an unequal situation. But it would be an interesting variation (on the British model, for instance), if the civil unions were available to all – straight as well. This would give an opportunity for ‘marriage’ to be re-branded as a homophobic religious institution that no decent-minded citizen who believed in equality-for-all would consider entering into…With a bit of luck, we might even find high-profile couples ending their ‘marriages’ and replacing them with civil unions as a means of protest…