Thursday, August 12, 2010

More support for gay marriage (and that support's growing, too)

I don't know if it was because of the vote on Prop 8 in California, but the past two years have seen a rather meteoric rise in public support for gay marriage among polled Americans. Apparently, at the time when Prop 8 was passed (November 2008), the percent of Americans who supported gay marriage was around 42%. In the next 20 months, that number climbed to an all-time high of roughly 50%. That's an average rate-of-change of 2.5% per month, but looking at the chart, we can see that most of the rise occurred over the last 12-ish months!
Even if the constitutionality question wasn't a part of the argument as to why a California judge can "over-rule the will of the people," the trend is definitely on a nation-wide one of greater and greater favoring of letting people who love each other have a married life. Of course, this trend toward greater favor isn't as great in all the states of the union:
In fact, in the case of Utah, there was less support for gay marriage in 2008-9 than in 2003-4. Of course, it doesn't take a statistician to see that Utah is an outlier when it comes to the national trend, where the change from five years previous was across-the-board positive. "As go Utah, so goes the rest of the country," isn't (thankfully) the mantra of guiding wisdom.

This makes clearer (at least to me) the hollow arguments of those seeking to deny homosexual couples the ability and right to marry the person they love; the person they wish to attempt to share a life with. It makes the arguments against it -- one of the loudest ones being that it will ruin the "sanctity of marriage" -- sound all the more shrill, especially when voiced by those who have ridden roughshod over their own "sanctified" marriages. It makes the argument that Judge Walker's ruling was invalid because he's (supposedly) gay all the more shrill. Meanwhile, it makes level-headed statements of why people should be treated as people (gay or straight) sound ever-more reasonable (if being more than 100% reasonable is possible).

However, unless the US Supreme Court rules differently, gay marriage is a constitutional question about individual civil liberties, and such issues of constitutionality are not up for majority-rules votes.

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