Encouraging sign of the times


News reports say that the Democratic party platform committee has unanimously endorsed same-sex marriage. This reflects the fact that a new Pew poll finds two-thirds of self-identified Democrats support this position.

What is interesting is that although there is a significant difference on at least this one issue between the two major parties, same sex marriage and LGBT rights in general have not (as yet anyway) become a big election issue. This may be a sign that Republicans no longer think that this is a winning issue for them, unlike in 2004 when they planted constitutional amendments against same sex marriage on the ballot in many states as a way of motivating their religious base to go to the polls. Although the same Pew poll says that 70% of Republicans still oppose it, the steam seems to have gone out of their opposition.

Just a decade or so ago, the ho-hum acceptance of same sex marriage in the Democratic party platform would have been unthinkable. There would have been knock down, drag out fights all the way to the convention. The speed with which equal rights for gays is advancing has to be one of the most dramatic transformation in attitudes on a major social issue that I have seen in my lifetime.

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