At the New York Times, polling guru Nate Silver has a fascinating post about changing attitudes toward gay marriage in the various states.
Here’s his chart for North Dakota (click the link to see the full chart), showing percentage support for gay marriage in 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020. As you can see, by 2020 Silver is projecting strong majority support for gay marriage in North Dakota. In fact, by 2020 Silver sees only six states with majority opposition to gay marriage.
This is why opposition to gay marriage is a loser issue for Republicans and conservatives. This is why Senator Heitkamp decided to stop dodging questions about her position on gay marriage and come out in support. Attitudes are changing, and by the time Heitkamp is on the ballot again this isn’t going to be an issue that hurts her.
This is also why I oppose expanding North Dakota’s existing protected classes to include homosexuals. Not only am I not convinced that discrimination against gays is a major problem now based on the data, but as society’s attitudes change about gay marriage and gays in general it’s going to become even less of a problem.
Increasingly, Americans are finding themselves more accepting of homosexuals. That’s a good thing.
In related news, here’s Chris Berg providing some analysis for Heitkamp’s gay marriage announcement, pointing out that her decision was absolutely political: