According to the new Pew Research Center for People & the Press/Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life poll, 35 percent of Americans polled were in favor of allowing gay couples to get legally married. Fifty-three percent still opposed marriage for gay couples, but that same number of people polled, 53 percent, said they wanted gay couples to have some kind of legal arrangement, such as civil unions.As I have long hoped and suspected, the anti-gay tide is slowly but surely ebbing. I've long been someone who cares a lot less about the word marriage than I do about the legal rights. I don't care if, temporarily, we're given some "other" category. Personally, I'm rather libertarian when it comes to this issue, I don't think the government should have much say over who people want to legally define as their next of kin. I know a lot of long-term same-sex couples who are already married, have mortgages and kids, but still have to tote around copies of their health directives and durable powers of attorney papers just in case. Our families aren't illegal, we're in extra-legal limbo and there is no good reason for it. It's inevitable that most Americans will and do see it that way as they come to understand what it actually means.
"This is exactly what the right wing is afraid of," Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, said. "People have had a year of legal marriage in Massachusetts to see how ending marriage discrimination helps gay and lesbian families and hurts no one."
"The long-term trend in America's civil rights discussion, including this recent rebound of public support for marriage equality, which follows the ferment and barrage of the past several months, demonstrates the power of engaging the public and showing them the reality of marriage equality, rather than right-wing rhetoric and scare tactics."
So, this leads me wonder, what is the next GOP galvanizing-red-herring-election-year-tool? Perhaps they'll have to resort to old things that threaten the allegedly god-fearing-- abortion, school prayer, immigrants-- or they'll have to craft something entirely new from whole cloth. Any ideas?