Friday, March 22, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #100 - Part 1

Good News #1: Same-sex marriage advances

Our first bit of good news comes from the area where most of the good news seems to come from these days: same-sex marriage.

According to a study by LifeWay Research, a Nashville, TN polling firm with ties to the Southern Baptist Convention, 64% of American adults believe legalized same-sex marriage in the US is inevitable. That doesn't mean they support it, but they do think it's going to happen.

And there is increasing evidence that those people are right. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released March 18 found 58% of Americans now believe marriage should be legal for same-sex couples, while just 36% oppose it. That's a new high in ABC/WaPo's polling and an almost 180 degree turn-around from just 10 years ago. Other polls haven't found support to be quite that high, but there are a number showing support in the range of 52, 53, 54 percent.

As you might expect, the poll found large majorities of Democrats and independents back same-sex marriage, but what was interesting was that even among GOPpers, it was supported by a majority - a small majority, but still a majority - of those under the age of 50.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have already legalized same-sex marriage. Eleven more states allow some form of civil unions or domestic partnerships. The Illinois Senate recently passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, and prospects are considered fair to good that the bill will become law. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, bills for same-sex marriage have passed the required committees in the House and Senate and await floor votes, which won't come for a while. The bills still face opposition, but sponsors say they are confident of passage and Gov. Mark Dayton has already said he'll sign such a bill.

A couple of quick footnotes:

One, the Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has issued a moving statement announcing that it will stop performing straight weddings until same-sex marriage is legalized in North Carolina.

And two, why do I keep saying this is one area where we can be sure justice will come? In that same ABC/Washington Post poll, among people aged 18-to-29, 81% favor recognizing same-sex marriage. All we have to do is wait for the old fogeys to die off.

Oh, one last thing: The house in the picture is directly across the street from the headquarters of the Westboro Baptist Church.


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