The march of progress

Increased civil liberties are on the horizon:

Fifty-three percent of Americans support making gay marriage legal, a Gallup poll showed on Friday, a marked reversal from just a year ago when an equal majority opposed same-sex matrimony.

The latest Gallup findings are in line with two earlier national polls this spring that show support for legally recognized gay marriage has, in recent months, gained a newfound majority among Americans.

It’s hard to say exactly what it is that is causing this shift. I suspect it’s actually a number of factors. For instance, the five states that have given basic civil rights to gays have not fallen into ruin, so people might be recognizing that the fear mongering of conservative bigots was just a bunch of lies. It could also be that more and more people are coming out the closet. As Harvey Milk said, if people realize that they know gays and gay couples, they’re less likely to hate. Or it could be that people are actually recognizing the principles they claim to hold, thus applying them consistently. After all, “I won’t give my approval!” is a rather dishonest argument.

Of course, there is one thing that can’t be missed:

In a sign of a generation gap, Gallup found 70 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 support gay marriage, compared to only 39 percent among those 55 and older.

The irrelevant generations do tend to hold back progress, but it really is so often that the energy and improved perspective of younger generations that brings about important, needed, and principled change.

9 Responses

  1. Oh come on now Michael, you are just as irrelevant as everyone else.

    I don’t support government endorsed marriage in any combination of sexes. Am I a group of my own?

  2. Perhaps I am. But my (and your) generation is not.

  3. i didn’t want you to feel left out, that’s all.

  4. That is ageism…pure and simple. I’m well over 55 and am not a member of an IRRELEVANT GENERATION!!

    When younger, and a “devout” Catholic, I thought homosexuatlity was a sin…it was to me a perversion..a life style to be shunned by others and better kept in the closet. It was a subject to be discussed only with a patient and a psychiatrist as it was diagnosed as a mental disorder..

    I remember well when I thought the issue was being “politicized” by activist who thought and behaviour patterns were quite different from mine.

    Only through education, by knowing and being close friends of others who had “come out” ( I remember how shocked I was to learn that Rock Hudson was gay) , by a total change in my religious perspectives on life, and in general having the ability to use my critical thinking abilities, my attitude has been changed.

    I’m one of those 39% who support gay marriage. I only hope, when you are my age Michael, that you are not to be felt “irrelevant” and are able to do grow out of whatever biases, like ageism, you may have. It is difficult but I trust you will have the capacity to do so.

  5. As a catholic I may consider homosexuality a sin, but I don’t think it’s any of my business what other people do.

  6. I only hope, when you are my age Michael, that you are not to be felt “irrelevant” and are able to do grow out of whatever biases, like ageism, you may have.

    There will come a day when my generation reaches that point. And when it does, I will champion the improving progressive efforts of the next relevant generation.

  7. Platitudes anyone?

  8. Thank you but I guess it depends on the meaning of relevancy. When it comes to political voting power, my generation is the most relevant. Look at what happen when Ryan tried to change Medicare, He has the Rethugs tied in knots for the votes they have lost because of my generation.

    And when you become my age, and there are no progressive efforts you can support,(as happened during the 50’s with the Lost Generation), what will you champion to reclaim a semblance to relevancy?

    I think you are sterotyping a whole generation unkindly , unprofessionally , and unthoughtfully.

    We may be old but a good many of us are still alive, involved, and LEADING not following needed change.

  9. I believe personal interaction with gay people is the biggest factor in helping overcome this prejudice.

    Heck, not even Dick Cheney could hold on to the required Republican bigotry when his daughter turned out to be gay; he was forced to break ranks and infuriate the “base” by admitting that his daughter was a human being who deserved respect!

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