There has been a dramatic change in attitudes over recent decades about same sex marriage in the USA. Younger Americans are much more likely to support gay couples being able to marry. A Pew Research Center poll conducted in April found that 30% of Americans born between 1928 and 1945 support same-sex marriage. The poll found that 39% of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 favour same-sex marriage. Among so-called Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) 50% support same sex couples marrying. Among Americans born after 1981, 63% believe that gay marriages should be legal.
Obama is not the only American to have changed their views on same sex marriage or other LGBT issues. A rise in the gay rights movement and changes in general culture have cause many born between 1940 and 1960 to reassess their views on homosexuality – something they previously may have taken for granted.
Since 2001 support for same-sex marriage has increased from 23% to 30% among those born between 1928 and 1945, and from 32% to 39% among those born between 1946 and 1964 according to a Pew Research Centre poll.
In the same poll overall support for same-sex marriage has increased from 35% in 2001 to 47% this year, while opposition has dropped from 57% to 43%. (Ten percent had no opinion).
It is interesting that the Gallup poll showed that 65% of Democrats, 57% of independents, and 22% of Republicans favour same-sex marriages. Among religious groups, 51% of Catholics, 38% of Protestants, and 88% of people with no religious identity support legalization of same-sex marriage.
Quoting Prof Peter Drier of Occidental College:
“We’ve seen dramatic changes in public opinion before — on such issues as women’s suffrage, sexual harassment, interracial marriages, racial and sexual discrimination in jobs and housing, women’s roles at home and work, government’s role in protecting the environment, fuel efficiency in cars, and disability rights. In each case, grassroots movements made a big difference. Their role is to put new issues on the public agenda — to make people think about things they hadn’t thought about before. Initially, this makes people feel uncomfortable. It sometimes even triggers a backlash among some people who resist change. But eventually most people come to accept the reality — and fairness — of new ideas and behaviors. The radical ideas of one generation become the common sense of the next. When children born this year reach voting age 18 years from now, they will surely wonder how it was even possible that America once deprived gays and
lesbians the right to marry. They will take same-sex marriage for granted. Hopefully, however, they will learn in their history classes and on TV about the grassroots movement that catalyzed the dramatic changes in public opinion, laws and court rulings that made America a more humane country, especially for the married gay and lesbian couples they call their neighbors, friends, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, and parents.”
Yes, it has been a hard long struggle from the late 1940′s when homosexuality was totally illegal in Britain, and living through those times, one was afraid to even ask, although the library was a place one could read about it. Not until 1969 was homosexuality allowed for consenting adults over 21 having seen the film ‘Victim’ starring Dirk Bogarde, did things start to get easier to meet up, but one had to be careful of being blackmailed by another. The police had their spies out and bringing many prosecutions against Gay men and many were imprisoned. President Obama and David Cameron have done the right thing for our community in trying to give us Equality, hopefully, in the not distant future Same-Sex marriage will come to fruition. Thankfully, the younger Gay people of today can be what they wish to be, not having to look over their shoulder to see if they are being followed by the police, etc, and acting out their lives just as any majority of people do.
I am convinced that the biggest factor in the decline of prejudice and support for discrimination is familiarity and visibility. Silent and unidentified people are easy to demonize and fear. By the same token, it is difficult to imagine them as 3-dimensional human beings with significant feelings and relationships like anyone else. This is why the biggest engine of change in the last 40 years has been more and more l&g people being out. We all have to keep it up!
Almost certainly, familiarity and visibility have been the biggest influences on LGBT acceptance, tolerance and understanding across society.
If school children can see gay characters on soaps and in other aspects of celebrity life then this normalises LGBT issues
“60% of the respondents also said that this announcement would have no bearing on their voting decisions”
This sounds like the writer thinks the effect is therefore negligible. 40% is a huge chunk of the voting population, especially considering Obama did nothing more than express a personal opinion.
There is also the problem for the GOP who now look increasingly out of touch with the majority of Americans, including very many of their own supporters.
Top GOP Pollster To GOP: Reverse On Gay Issues
Romney, unfortunately, has painted himself in to a very bad place, partly to keep up with people like Santorum and Perry during the nominee election.
Romney is doing the dance of the seven veils for the Republican Party, with each discarded veil the American electoriate sees a bit more of the real man underneath. With the last veil he and the Republican’s stand naked, the Party of homophobia, zenophobia, haters of women’s right, poor people, anyone other than themselves. Romney the ‘person of faith’ Mormon in a cult created by a confidence trickster, a proved homphobic bully. The shrill voice of the Republican’s seeping out on the airwaves thanks to the likes of Rush Limbough. The face of hypocracy thanks to the likes of Newt Gingrich. Finally, the proof if proof was needed of the paper thin values of that collective of staggering repulsives is provided by none other than Bristol Palin who like so many other Repubican’s is blithly oblivious to the meaning of the word, ignorance. Romney is thankfuly, unlikeable, unsuitable and ultimately un-electable, as a member of the LGBT world community I celebrate that fact.
Surely he’ll keep his special Mirmon pants on to the bitter end
Defeat for him is going to be bitter, but verysweet for those of us on the side of reason and equality.