2012-07-16 16:33:30

Infographic: marriage equality is officially mainstream

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Center for American Progress has issued a report which looks at polls and demonstrates that the majority of the country supports marriage equality. Crosby Burns and Ben Harris write,

In short, marriage equality is now a mainstream American value. Just a decade ago, however, a majority of Americans opposed laws and policies that extended marital rights to same-sex couples. In the ensuing 10 years, the United States has come a long way with states passing marriage equality legislation, national leaders coming out in support of equal relationship recognition rights, and same-sex couples sharing their stories of love and commitment with their friends and family.

And here is an infographic of the support for marriage equality:

An interesting but not surprising finding in the report is the correlation between people coming out as LGBTQ and people accepting marriage equality:

Just as more people are coming out in support of ending marriage discrimination, more people personally know someone who identifies as gay—and that’s no coincidence. Polls find that roughly 75 percent of people today personally know someone who is gay, whether that is a friend, family member, or colleague. In 1992 that number was just 42 percent, marking more than a 30-point rise since then. Reports suggest that as more gay individuals live openly and tell their friends and family that they are gay, support for marriage equality will continue to rise. Those who know someone who identifies as gay are 20 points likelier to back marriage equality.

When I read that, I couldn’t help but think of Harvey Milk’s inspiring “hope” speech, in which he said:

 I ask my gay sisters and brothers to make the commitment to fight. For themselves, for their freedom, for their country … We will not win our rights by staying quietly in our closets… We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions. We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I’m going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it. You must come out. Come out to your parents, your relatives…

The polls are encouraging news, but we have to make sure that support for marriage equality translates into policy. This election day, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington will all have legislation relating to same-sex marriage on the ballot. So, instead of merely rejoicing, we must use this news to encourage organizing around marriage equality.

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