On Tuesday, it was announced that support for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high in the United States. This is great news which is clearly mirroring the ideals of youth on the ascent. The poll, jointly conducted and published by the Washington Post and ABC News, states that 58% of Americans now believe same-sex marriage should be legal; just 36% think that it should be outlawed, as it is in many states. What’s most interesting about this poll (see below image) is the numbers from the pre-Obama years, with most Americans — 55% to be exact — favoring the illegality of homosexual marriage with only 37% taking the pro position. That's almost an exact inversion of Americans' prior stances.
There are two factors which now land us in an age where the sex a person is attracted to does not define them as a person — where eventually one may be able to marry whomever he or she wishes, no matter their gender. Those are our president and youth culture.
Pre-Obama, millennials were landed with the odious George W. Bush, one of our most hated and incompetent presidents since Truman who ruled – yes, ruled – America for eight long, hard, unbearable years. Bush has always been opposed to gay marriage – no shock there – as are 59% of his party, a number which has declined since 2003, when it was 72%. But I suspect that the Republicans are beginning to change their mind on this issue, somewhat reluctantly, because they are steadily beginning to realize that within ten years they will have extreme difficulty finding their way to the throne at the White House if they continue to clutch onto bronze-age beliefs defended tersely.
To anyone watching America from afar, one can see that young people are starting to take charge ... that they are being listened to, ever so slightly. As a relatively young person myself, I am a liberal. I believe in the absolute freedom of choice and I especially believe that a government should not have the right to dictate what a person can do in their bedroom and who they can marry; a belief many people find hard to hold, it seems.
As John Cohen, Director of Polling for Capital Insight, says in his enlightening report for the Washington Post,
"Among young adults age 18 to 29, support for gay marriage is overwhelming, hitting a record high of 81 percent in the new poll. Support has also been increasing among older adults, but those aged 65 years old and up remain opposed, on balance: 44 percent say same-sex marriage should be legal; 50 percent say illegal."
What can we take from this? Young people are taking the reins for the future. They are setting the path which politicians need to follow. An alarming trend in American politics that is politicians are voting for matters on account of their own beliefs and biases instead of voting on account of the beliefs of their constituencies.
Older adults are steadily coming to terms with the change in the tide, although some are sticking to their old-age guns. All the numbers are on the rise for gay marriage: Republicans, Independents, and Democrats. Only this week Hillary Clinton voiced her support – wonderful news and only coming now because she plans to run for the presidency.
The report also says that "A slim majority of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents under 50 years old now support gay marriage," which is a testament to a younger generation of Republicans who are beginning to realize and take advantage of the growing cracks in their party. Homosexuality is not a curse or a crime, it’s a simple thing which doesn’t need to be read into in any great detail anymore. It’s the love shared between two people who just happen to be of the same sex.
Big deal, right?
Bravo America, we’re going in the right direction.