The collapse of bigotry

Progress marches on:

A solid majority of Americans support gay marriage, capping a complete reversal in public opinion in less than a decade

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that a solid 58 percent of Americans support legalizing same-sex marriage, compared with 36 percent who believe it should be illegal. The findings represent nothing less than a stunning collapse of opposition to gay marriage: As recently as 2003, the numbers were reversed, with 37 percent favoring gay marriage, and 55 percent opposing.

As the elderly die off, religious adherence decreases, and perspectives and understandings increase in a shrinking world, the equal treatment of gay members and families of society has been on the rise. I would expect nothing less.

The fact is, one of the last times we saw anti-gay bigots come away with a significant victory was in my state of Maine in 2009. That was an off-year for elections and the spending by religious groups (especially the Catholic Church) was astronomical. They were able to organize effectively and take advantage of a relatively low voter turnout. However, they failed decisively in 2012 when Mainers made marriage equal. And why did this happen? Maine is an older, rural state, so while people die and the world shrinks, those effects are not massive here. What was significant, though, was that our generally non-religious nature was able to show through. There are no honest secular arguments against marriage for gay couples, and I think people recognized that. The integrity of secular morality was able to overcome the temporary dominance of religious ideology once a fair showing of voters happened.

If the courts don’t follow the 14th Amendment and the rest of the constitution soon, equality in marriage will still become commonplace anyway. It’s a matter of time.