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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:38 PM

Faith in Values: The Political and Cultural Embrace of Marriage Equality is Growing

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2012/12/05/46831/faith-in-values-the-political-and-cultural-embrace-of-marriage-equality-is-growing/


Jon Lellelid, of the Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle, blows a Shofar, or "ram's horn" at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington on Monday, Feb. 14, 2005 to close a Valentine's Day rally supporting equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Approximately 700 people from across the state attended the rally, which was organized by the interdenominational Religious Coalition for Equality

By Sally Steenland | December 5, 2012

Twelve years ago Vermont became the first state to legalize civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Back then the term “civil union” was unfamiliar to most Americans, and the Vermont law seemed radical to many. Its passage triggered fear campaigns and antigay ballot initiatives that energized conservatives and helped them win elections across the country.

On Election Day 2012 voters in three states—Maryland, Maine, and Washington—went far beyond civil unions and supported marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Voters in Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. These victories mark a dramatic shift in public support for gay and lesbian equality—all in a little more than a decade since Vermont passed its civil unions bill.

What changed?

Let’s start with the voters. One reason marriage equality is becoming a winning issue is because young people support it. As they turn 18 and start voting, their views are shifting the political conversation and election landscape. As young people become a larger part of the electorate, support for marriage equality is likely to become the norm. But it’s not just the youth vote that’s driving change. A recent report, “The Big Shift,” by the think tank Third Way, finds that three-quarters of the change in attitude over the past seven years came from Americans of all ages, including older voters.

The culture has also shifted. As more gay and transgender Americans have come out to their families, friends, and co-workers, they have rebutted stereotypes and rigid notions of what it means to be gay. Hollywood—never a leader in cultural trends but eager to be a close follower—has noted this growing acceptance and begun adding openly gay characters to programming. According to a recent report by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, 4.4 percent of recurring characters on TV shows this season are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender—a record high. And an October poll by The Hollywood Reporter found that voters increasingly support marriage equality, with 27 percent saying that “gay TV” shows such as Glee and Modern Family influenced their views.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:12 PM

1. When future theologians re-imagine the era, it will be shown that theology always backed

marriage equality. "It's easier sometimes to change the past." (Jackson Browne, Fountain of Sorrow)

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Response to dimbear (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:22 PM

2. Correct, they will never acknowledge the fact that religion is THE reason we had to deal with this

in the first place.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:31 PM

3. Perhaps. Does that invalidate the work that is being done by religious groups now?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:51 PM

4. No, not at all. Just burying a time capsule which reminds the future that

religionists stormed against marriage equality while they could and then took credit for it.

This forum is going to be a treasure trove for the 22nd century.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:56 PM

5. I suppose they want credit for modern medicine since they don't burn scientists at the stake anymore

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:08 PM

6. Yes. Let's tear them apart for doing what they can to further a cause we all support.

That's the spirit!

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:50 PM

7. I applaud individuals for doing the right thing when they do it BECAUSE it's the right thing to do.

Not because they consulted religious leaders before making up their minds.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:22 PM

8. You know nothing of these people or their motivation.

But, once again, because they are not like you, you make negative assumptions that may have no basis in reality.

I wonder how you would react to anyone else who had such an approach to people who are different than they are.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:44 PM

9. One need look no further than the history books to observe religious motivation.

I belong to a tiny minority, I am surrounded by people who are different than I, many are tolerant despite their religious upbringing.

Most are not.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:53 PM

10. That's a rough spot to be in and I empathize.

But what is the point of being like them?

There are good religious people in the world. There are good religious people posting in this group and populating this site. There are good religious people here that support atheists and recognize that there is bigotry towards them.

At least here, I think you have more allies than adversaries.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:24 PM

11. I am NOT like them and never have been.

Do you think all atheists live in communes? Do you really think that we despise all religious people?

I have a very close circle of family and friends and guess how many of them are atheists?

Do you think I love them any less because of their religious beliefs? My s/o is a lapsed catholic, he is a very very good man, one in a million. He does not need to be told the right thing to do by a priest. He just knows.

I have said many times on DU that I ally with liberal christians, we fight for the same side and nothing can ever be accomplished without all of us working together.

But the older I get and the more I am exposed to hateful christians the more jaded I become.

Don't mistake my disgust with religion for hatred of the religious, I am anti-theism, not an anti-theist.

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