“According to the Pew Research Center’s latest poll, 72 percent of Americans say legal recognition of gay marriage is coming,” writes Scott Shackford for Reason. “It doesn’t necessarily mean they support it. Almost 60 percent of those who oppose recognition of same-sex marriages think it’s inevitable anyway.”
Pew’s research goes much further, though, showing significant cultural shifts in attitudes toward gay people. Over the course of a decade, the majority has shifted to accept gay people should be part of society, to have more favorable opinions of the gays (women a few points higher than men), and to say they’re much less likely to be upset if their children told them they were gay.
The number of Americans who say they personally know somebody gay has jumped from 61 percent to 87 percent in 20 years (that may explain a Gallup poll from last year where people estimated nearly 25 percent of the population was gay or lesbian).
Their latest poll numbers for gay marriage recognition have 51 percent supporting it and 67 percent supporting legal agreements that offer the same “rights” as marriage (scare quotes because I can hear some of you grinding your teeth — they really mean “privileges”).
These numbers match up with an analysis done by the New York Times’ polling guru Nate Silver which found that all but 4 states would see majority support for gay marriage by 2020 (he projects North Dakota to have majority support by 2016).
Distaste with homosexuality, and opposition to gay marriage, is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Americans who have opposed gays/gay marriage in the past are either changing their minds, it seems, or dying off.
It’s all over but the voting and legislating, it seems.