Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
2012-NOV: Accelerating steps toward
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-OCT
Conflicting quotes (Both on 2012-NOV-07):
Brian Brown, President, National Organization for Marriage (NOM): "Americans remain strongly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman." [NOM is the main national organization attempting to eliminate same-sex marriages.] 1
American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER): Support for marriage equality continues to grow every day, with no¬ less than 16 polls now confirming that a majority of Americans believe¬ gay and lesbian couples should have the freedom to get married." 2
"The latest polling on the issue of same-sex marriage by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (conducted in October 2011) finds that the public divides almost evenly: 46% favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 44% are opposed. The public has gradually become more supportive of granting legal recognition to same-sex marriages over the past 15 years, with support increasing more steeply in recent years." 3 (Subsequent polls have confirmed that most American adults favor SSM, and that the margin in favor is gradually increasing).
Resolving the conflict:
Brown's statement is true for certain groups of American adults including: religious conservatives, social conservatives, and the elderly. The Pew poll and AFER statement are apparently true for American adults, considered as a group.
The Obama administration announced on 2011-FEB-23 that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. Some commentators predicted that this decision would generate a tipping point that will lead to a more rapid decline in discrimination against sexual minorities in the U.S.
One remarkable confirmation of this prediction occurred this month, on the evening of election day, 2012-NOV-06, when the results from four state referendums on same-sex marriage (SSM) became clear:
All four referendums resulted in SSM-positive decisions with a margin of about 5 to 6 percentage points. This compares to referendums which terminated SSM in California during 2008 and Maine during 2009 by about the same margin.
The impact was devastating to social and religious conservatives who had committed a great deal of energy and money to fight against marriage equality. During the previous 15 years or so, there had been over 30 similar referendums. All had resulted on restrictions on SSM. During that interval, those approving of SMM remained in the minority but were gradually increasing in number. Those opposed to SSM remained in the majority but were gradually decreasing in number. The inevitable event happened, perhaps in 2011. The numbers reached parity and public opinion polls began to show that most American adults favored marriage equality.
The same cultural dynamic ocurred during the second half of the 20th century over interracial marriage. By 1991, most Americans favored marriage equality for interracial couples.
The momentum towards marriage equality for loving, committed same-sex couples continues.