A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Equal Rights Is A Growing Idea

The battle for equal rights (not special rights) for the LGBT community has been a long and hard one. As recently as 2004, only 9 years ago, only about 38% of the American public believed that same-sex marriage should be legal. But the movement has gained a lot of momentum in those 9 years, and now nearly 6 out of 10 people (58%) believe it should be legal.

That's a remarkable amount of growth in just a few short years. And it marks the most people since the ABC News/Washington Post Poll has been surveying attitudes of Americans on this issue. The history of the poll is summed up in the graph above. The most recent poll was done between March 7th and 10th of 1,001 randomly chosen adults nationwide -- with a margin of error of 3.5 points. It shows that approval for this equal rights issue has grown by 21 points in just the last decade.

And perhaps the most remarkable fact is that this growth in acceptance of legal same-sex marriage cuts across all demographic groups -- including groups that have been traditionally the most opposed to it, like evangelicals and Republicans. Here is the demographic breakdown, with the first number given being the current percentage (and the number in parentheses being the percentage in August of 2004). The third number is the growth:

Men...............54% (30%).....+24
Women...............61% (35%).....+26

18 to 29...............81% (57%).....+24
30 to 64...............56% (33%).....+23
65 & over...............44% (18%).....+26

Whites...............57% (34%).....+23
Non-whites...............61% (28%).....+33

Catholics...............59% (40%).....+19
Evangelical Protestants...............31% (7%).....+24
Non-evangelical Protestants...............70% (45%).....+25

Democrats...............72% (43%).....+29
Republicans...............34% (16%).....+18
Independents...............62% (38%).....+24

Liberals...............74% (58%).....+16
Moderates...............71% (40%).....+31
Conservatives...............33% (10%).....+23

Those of us who believe all Americans should have equal rights under law should rejoice over these numbers. Our growth is substantial and accelerating. And those who still believe some Americans should not have the same rights granted to all other Americans are becoming more marginalized with each passing year. The war has not yet been won, but I really don't see how it can now be stopped. The momentum is growing, and I believe it will continue to grow until marriage equality is a reality in every state.

This is the time to re-double our efforts to make the equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution a reality -- not just for the LGBT community, but for all Americans.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it amazing?

    The momentum on this issue is incredible - I'm not sure whether there's ever been anything like it when it comes to civil rights.

    It's going to be fun to watch the last remaining holdout institutions like the Catholic Church. They WILL soften their positions eventually... but they are going to have to "distinguish" themselves to death to do it, so it doesn't appear that they are flat-out changing their mind.

    ReplyDelete

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