2012-APR: Accelerating steps toward
same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
We use the acronym "SSM" throughout this section to represent "same-sex marriage"
We use the acronym "LGBT" to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
See also the previous essay describing events during 2012-MAR
The Obama administration announced on 2011-FEB-23 that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. They cited an earlier decision in a Massachusetts federal court that found multiple reasons why the federal DOMA legislation violates the U.S. Constitution and is thus invalid.
Some commentators predicted that this decision will generate a tipping point that will lead to a more rapid decline in discrimination against sexual minorities in the U.S.
This prediction may be coming true. We have noticed an increase in events -- some important, some minor, some merely symbolic -- that indicate a gradual evaporation of animosity and homophobia against sexual.
Developments toward marital equality and a lessening of discrimination against sexual minorities:
2012-APR-18: USA: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), whose main purpose is to prevent same-sex couples from being able to marry, recently started a fund raising campaign.
"My friend, 2012 may well go down as the most important year ever in the fight to defend [opposite-sex only] marriage. Look at what we're facing: a presidential election, a Congress up for grabs, federal litigation headed to the US Supreme Court, and fights to defend or promote marriage in a dozen states‚Ä"five of which will be having state-wide votes on marriage!
We need the funds to engage on all of these fronts...because when I say that 2012 may be the most important ever for marriage‚Ä"I mean it in a positive way. We have battles on so many fronts...but each of those fights is an opportunity to win another major victory for marriage!"
NOM sent out a series of fund raising Emails that seem to reflect their understanding that a growing majority of adults in the U.S. favor marriage equality. Their most recent Email may indicate panic; it is titled: "Please...we cannot give up...together we can and we will win!"
They appear to have received contributions totaling about $60,000, which is only about 30% of their goal.
Bill Keller wrote an article on the political fate of the four Republican Senators who supported SSM in New York state and helped pass the bill legalizing SSM. The article is titled: "When Is a Flip Not a Flop? The Fate of the Republicans Who Supported Gay Marriage." He wrote:
"... if you parse public opinion, you find the acceptance of gay marriage is not just growing; it is accelerating. This is driven, of course, by the overwhelming support of young voters, but also by white Catholics, who have grown more open-minded on gay rights as they have become more affluent and educated, and as their children return from college with more liberal attitudes.
Adding to the inexorability is a factor pollsters refer to as ‚Äúsalience,‚Ä a measure of how much an issue means to you. It figures heavily in what politicians decide is safe to do. Most Americans favor restrictions on guns, for example, but gun control is stymied by salience: the people who want full gun rights care far more about the issue than those who oppose them. Opponents of gay marriage used to hold their opinion more passionately than supporters. But as more Americans have openly gay children, siblings, friends and neighbors, the supporters feel just as strongly. Another sign of seismic change: civil unions, once regarded by gay-marriage supporters as a best-we-can-hope-for compromise, have become a fallback position of the anti-marriage camp.
African-American support for gay marriage has remained stubborn, hovering around 30 percent for years, for reasons of class and education and because of the centrality of church in their lives. According to internal memos of the National Organization for Marriage, the anti-gay-marriage lobby sees an opportunity to play on the fact that some blacks resent hearing gay marriage likened to their own civil rights struggle."