Friday, August 06, 2010

Changing Views on Gay Marriage

This is the first of two posts in celebration of Wednesday's court decision to overturn California's Proposition 8.

The battle against discrimination and inequality is long and along the way there are many victories and many setbacks as well. While it is true that justice delayed is justice denied, it is often helpful to take a look at the big picture, the longue durée if you will. Over at FiveThirtyEight.com they posted an interesting graph showing changing attitudes towards same sex marriage over the past 12 years in each of the 50 states. Click here to see the graph.

In 1994-1996, only one state (New York, 36%) had an approval rating for same sex marriage of more than 35%. In 2008-2009, six states had approval ratings of more than 50%. Acceptance of same sex marriage increased by more than 15 percentage points in 22 states between 94-96 and 08-09. Acceptance of same sex marriage increased in every single state since 94-96. Acceptance seems to be increasing at an accelerating rate in 34 states and there is only one state (Utah) that is less accepting of same sex marriage today than five years ago.