I had to include that full headline from yesterday’s Boston Globe, Same-sex marriage no longer such a divisive political issue, in my title. Sure, it’s from Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been legal for almost seven years. But, this article isn’t about marriage in Mass. No, it’s about the changing dynamics on a national level. The trendline is definitely moving in the right direction — and it’s moving fast:
Once guaranteed to whip up voter opposition, same-sex marriage is losing much of its bite as a political wedge issue, undercut by greater concerns about the economy and growing support for gay marriage among voters.
Public support for gay marriage is at a record 53 percent, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released this month, the first time the poll has measured support for gay marriage above 50 percent. In 2004, support was 32 percent.
Among the young, the question appears settled: 68 percent of voters ages 18 to 29 support same-sex marriage rights.
The findings reflect broad trends revealed in other polls. As support has steadily risen, “gay marriage has lost its clout [to divide voters] as a wedge issue,’’ said Darrell West, vice president and director of governance studies for the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “Same-sex marriage has become mainstream.’’
Yes, it has become mainstream.
The hard-core right-wingers want to cling to their homophobia — and we’ll see lots of hate and homophobia spewed during the GOP presidential nomination process. Still, some Democrats are still not fully on board with marriage (including the President.) Not supporting marriage is going to look like a very outdated position very soon.
NOM’s Brian Brown is in full denial. But, even some Southern Baptist leaders are cluing in:
“I think it’s clear that something like same-sex marriage is going to become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture,’’ said evangelical leader Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in radio remarks after Obama announced he would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act. “It’s time for Christians to start thinking about how we’re going to deal with that.’’