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Marriage equality demonstration
"In future generations, the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage," U.S. District Judge John Jones wrote in his marriage equality decision Tuesday, and a new poll from Gallup shows just how generational support for marriage equality is. The poll finds yet another new high in overall support, with 55 percent in favor, and huge, huge margins among younger people.

That 55 percent comes despite the question wording "Do you believe marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?" Yet 55 percent of people say yes despite that rightward slant of the invocation of "traditional marriages." Young people are leading the growth in support to a remarkable extent:

Support for legal same-sex marriage by age, 1996, 2013, and 2014. 18-29 years old support was 41% in 1996, 70% in 2013, 78% in 2014. 30-49 was 30%, 53%, 54%. 50-64 was 15%, 46%, 48%.65+ was 15%, 41%, 42%.
The age group that has had the highest support for marriage equality all along is also the group whose support is increasing the most rapidly, and today's 27-year-old is going to be moving into the 30 to 49 age group in a few years, and so on. The future generation that will abandon the term same-sex marriage and just use marriage, in other words, is already with us, even if it's not yet controlling the language we use or the laws of every state.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed May 21, 2014 at 07:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes, and look at the other groups! (18+ / 0-)

    50-64, +33 points. This is a sea change for American society, not just for the young. That's the best news from this.

    Speaking for my LGBT brothers and sisters, this PROVES that we're more American today.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed May 21, 2014 at 08:02:28 AM PDT

    •  Even seniors have come around (15+ / 0-)

      Up 28% since 1996, and up 1% since last year.

      Many of them are seeing grandchildren coming out and bringing the LOTL (Love Of Their Life) to Thanksgiving dinner. They've seen those LOTLs become part of the extended family. And they've seen the joy on the faces of their loved one, and realize that it's the same joy that they've felt with their beloved (assuming they've had a reasonably content marriage).

      So folks, keep coming out -- to your families, to your friends, to your co-workers. You're all blazing the trail for the future when the only worry about marriage equality will be increasing the wedding present budget.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Wed May 21, 2014 at 08:16:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I recall hearing about this effect when DADT ended (6+ / 0-)

        People suddenly found out about the "other side" of life for their  co-workers, and realized that most people have very similar domestic lives, regardless of orientation.

        •  I had several "out" work colleagues (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uncle Moji, nerafinator, AJayne

          back in the 1980s in my first full-time job after I left college. (The CEO of our company was a Republican, but didn't care who people slept with as long as it didn't impact profits.) Working alongside them and realizing they had the same issues I did with relationships and paying bills and all the other stuff folks in their 20s and 30s deal with helped me put aside a lot of my mom's teaching that gays are "icky" and accept them as just like me.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:05:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, I think that more people are figuring (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        out that same sex marriage won't affect their lives,  so why worry about it?

        •  That's the case for younger voters (0+ / 0-)

          (many of whom are evaluating their own personal need for marriage), but for older folks who are still stuck in traditional models, it's a harder transition. The fact that so many have made that transition (and granted, some of the increase might be due to folks in the 50-64 age group reaching that 65+ threshold) is encouraging.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:07:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  More seniors than middle aged people (0+ / 0-)

        That's interesting.

        As a senior myself (gasp) I've never been against it.

        O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

        by Kevanlove on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:24:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Or look at it multiplicatively: support (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        among seniors has tripled since 1996, and slightly more than tripled in the 50-64 group.

      •  Also many weren't seniors 8 years ago. (0+ / 0-)

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Wed May 21, 2014 at 03:25:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The "money quote" from Judge Jones' decision, (6+ / 0-)

    altho I don't think he is the first judge to say so, is this -

    The right Plaintiffs seek to exercise is not a new right, but is rather a right that these individuals have always been guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
    THAT is what makes these laws unconstitutional - the illegitimate attempt to withhold from some citizens rights that have always been theirs to enjoy.

    The judge's decision cites much history showing society's efforts to make sure gay people are seen as "lesser."

    When people understand exactly what this judge says, they will not be able to maintain their own illegitimate condemnations.

    •  That line seems to be going back (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AJayne, atdnext, leevank, Steveningen

      to Loving v. Virginia and Chief Justice Warren's

      Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man"

      from that decision.

      And since there is no requirement that couples be able to procreate when issuing a marriage license, it makes no sense to hold that as a justification for restricting marriage to heterosexual couples only.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Wed May 21, 2014 at 08:23:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atdnext, Steveningen

        Since this country was founded on the rights of individuals to pursue their own destinies, with the design for laws being to restrict behaviors that harm others (or limit the legitimate rights of others), no justification will ever be found for denying marriage rights to consenting adults.

    •  Indeed, Judge Shelby said in the Utah case (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atdnext, leevank, ahumbleopinion, Odysseus
      Because the right to marry has already been established as a fundamental right, the court finds that the Glucksberg analysis is inapplicable here. The Plaintiffs are seeking access to an existing right, not the declaration of a new right.
  •  I wish it were easier to figure out how attitutes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    within the same age cohort have changed over time.  For example, clearly those who were in their 20s in 1996 support marriage equality at a higher rate now than they did then, but by how much?

    Halitosigone® can lead to rare, but serious, side effects such as spontaneous combustion and moderate to severe pit stains.

    by bherner on Wed May 21, 2014 at 08:52:27 AM PDT

    •  Those who were in their twenties in 1996 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      would be in the  50-64 y/o category now. So it looks like SSM has picked up 7 point among that particular set of people.

      •  Check your math (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was 29 in 1996 and am 47 now. Just sayin'

        Cruelty might be very human, and it might be very cultural, but it's not acceptable.- Jodie Foster

        by CPT Doom on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:23:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, it’s been 18 years since 1996. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The 30-49 cohort in 1996 would now be 48-67, roughly matching the 2014 50-64 cohort, so in that group support has gone from 30% to roughly 48%. The 1996 18-29 cohort is now 36-47 and doesn’t match up extremely well with any 2014 cohort, but it’s solidly within the 30-49 cohort, so we can estimate that approval in that group rose from 41% to something close to 54% — perhaps a bit less, since 36-47 misses the young end of the 30-49 cohort, where support is probably strongest.

  •  It's great to see that public opinion... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AJayne, Hohenzollern

    Is now catching up with Constitutional law. This was bound to happen. The promise of equal justice under the law is part of the foundation of this nation.

  •  It's interesting to contrast this with ... (6+ / 0-)

    attitudes toward interracial marriage. Substantial majorities of all groups now say they approve of marriages between whites and non-whites (although support is lower among Southerners, Republicans, conservatives and senior citizens than among other groups), but even the year AFTER Loving v. Virginia was decided, only 20% of all Americans said they approved of marriage between whites and non-whites.  Attitudes toward interracial marriage changed MUCH more slowly than are attitudes toward same sex marriage, although in both cases, it was younger people who led the way.

    Here is a link showing the historic changes in attitudes toward interracial marriage:

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:23:37 AM PDT

    •  I think it's at least possible (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leevank, AJayne, Odysseus

      That attitudes are changing so fast on same-sex marriage precisely because we went through the same thing with interracial marriage.

    •  The difference may be that the underlying (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ganner918, leevank, Rieux, Odysseus

      racist attitudes were/are stronger than the underlying bigotry toward gays?

      “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

      by ahumbleopinion on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:20:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems plausible. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        For a very large portion of the population, homosexuality was not something that received any meaningful amount of thought (analysis, discourse, discussion, comprehension) until just a few decades ago. Race, by contrast, has been an overwhelmingly important political idea in the Western Hemisphere for centuries--with mostly bad consequences.

        It wouldn't be shocking if negative conceptions pertaining to the former category were easier to get rid (or grow out) of than negative conceptions pertaining to the latter.

      •  One important factor (0+ / 0-)

        was that LGBTs could generally choose when to come out, which was necessarily no earlier than high school for most. That makes it almost impossible to deny them basic education and various other advantages. Blacks don't have that option.

        Similarly, LGBTs can occur in any family without warning, and do exist in nearly all families. Blacks don't get that either.

        There are other major differences.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:25:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think Loving paved the way for the speed of this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leevank, AJayne, Odysseus

      change, because Loving was the first wave, it was the trail blazer and with the legal normalization, cultural normalization followed - the world did not explode because two people of different races who loved each other and wished to be married got married, in spite of warning from religious and cultural racists.  

      We have a historical record to prove that the US did not collapse because of interracial marriage, that churches did not burst into flames, and men did not marry dogs.  

      Now we believe that legal prohibitions against interracial marriage are simply bizarre and unfounded.  

      When Obama came out in favor of marriage equity, this also caused a fairly immediate shift in many communities of color.

      But, I, too, remain shocked at how quickly LGBT folks are becoming mainstream as LGBT.  I would not have believed, in my lifetime, I would see this change in our nation.  Stunning.

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:29:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Those are remarkable trend lines (0+ / 0-)

    over a relatively short period of time.

    I get it that young people are almost always more open minded and progressive about social issues but even boomers are almost for majority support.

    And it must be very frustrating for the homophobic crowd to both see that this is a lost issue for them and that the courts are striking down laws that are preventing marriage equality. So sad too bad.

    Even in the arena of professional sports, we're now seeing glimmers of progress.

    Nice to see some great news every now and them given the out pouring of bigotry and racism in recent weeks from the likes of Sterling, Coleman et al.

    "The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope." -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardi

    by Frank In WA on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:25:44 AM PDT

  •  ...and Young People are leading the way? (0+ / 0-)

    why would they get aboard this man-on-dog train?

    Poll finds new high in support for marriage equality, with young people leading the way

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

    by tuma on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:27:58 AM PDT

    •  Haven't you heard? (0+ / 0-)

      They're getting taught the Gay Agenda in the schools and on TV and in video games and music videos and even in sermons in those churches full of sinners like the Episcopals.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:35:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Trendlines (0+ / 0-)

    It's interesting to compare the 1996 group to where they are now at 2014. The 18 year time gap is fairly analogous to jumping up one category; only a few ages fail to do so: 30-31 remains within bracket after 18 years, and 47-49 would jump straight to 65+ years. Given that, for a naive analysis it seems fair to just do simple comparisons.

    As such, the surprising fact to me is that last generation's 18-29 grew the least here, only +13. 30-49 are up +18 and the combined 50+ group is up +28.

  •  So, Tony.... (0+ / 0-)

    May I call you Tony? What gives you the right to keep poking your pointy little nose into our business? You've been preaching hate since the 1980s and, frankly, you've become irrelevant. I've just watched "God Loves Uganda," and it seems you have to export your bigoted filth and murderous intent abroad, since we're not buying what you're selling. Please leave. Don't let the frack track hit you in the caboose as you're crossing our border.

  •  Abandoned? (0+ / 0-)

    I like Jones's decision, but this contention, I dunno--really?

    In future generations, the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage.
    That seems silly to me. Certainly in decades to come, when acceptance of equal marriage becomes the overwhelming consensus position, "same-sex marriage" will cease to be a term with much societal salience; it won't be something that people talk about, except (mostly) when they're discussing past civil-rights struggles. (That is, presumably, when they're comparing whatever the contemporary struggle is in 2050 or whenever to marriage equality now).

    But "abandoned"? Forty-seven years after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia, and fourteen years after the last state anti-miscegenation law (Alabama's) was removed from the books, has the term "interracial marriage" been abandoned? I certainly don't think so, and I say that as a member of a marriage that involves two people with very different skin colors who were born more than 8,000 miles apart from one another.

    And, of course, I can't imagine that any of us will live to see a day when literally no one in our communities opposes legalized same-sex marriage. We can well hope (and have some level of confidence) that that perspective will be relegated to the fringes of our political culture fairly soon--but surely it'll never disappear, any more than opposition to "miscegenation," to women's suffrage, or for that matter to the abolition of slavery has disappeared.

    I suppose this is tilting at an element of Jones's opinion that's hardly crucial to his (commendable) central holdings, but still. "Same-sex marriage" is destined to be a far less important term in the not-too-distant future, but "abandoned" I just can't see.

    •  In the law, the terms inter-racial marriage and (0+ / 0-)

      miscegenation have been abandoned. Society takes a lot longer to get over things.

      We have lots of people in the US still fighting the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression. There are people in the world still fighting the Crusades, or the murder of Muhammad's nephew the rightful Caliph Ali, or whether The Jews killed Christ. I cannot offhand think of any issue older than that in which both parties are still active, and at least one is carrying it on.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:03:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Marriage Equality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The acceptance of gay marriage seemed to explode overnight. It seemed to follow Obama's "evolution" on the issue, but I think it was the social movement among gay people to get each other to come out. A lot of people probably didn't give it a lot of thought before they became more conscious of their friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors being gay.

    •  Obama "evolved" shortly after polling first (0+ / 0-)

      revealed majority support for Marriage Equality. That was nearly 50 years after Stonewall, with support growing at an average rate of about 1% annually.

      The typical overnight success that was decades in the making.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:08:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AJayne, Hazel Flagg, Mokurai, Odysseus

    I can tell you first hand that our 20 somethings have a very different outlook about people who do not look or act like them; they are far more open minded and accepting than any generation before them.  Think about it for one minute.  They have grown up in schools and universities where the classrooms are full of people of all colors and abilities. They have started their careers in atmospheres where again their peers come in many colors and backgrounds.  It is hard to hate someone for being a different than you when you get to know them as a human being first. They are going to make this Country a very different place in the next few decades.  I say it is about time.

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