Which state will be the last?

When we think of those states the US that are likely to be the last to accept same-sex marriage equality, the Bible Belt in the deep south tend to figure highly, with Mississippi and Alabama vying for the top (bottom?) spot. Al Madrigal of The Daily Show does some careful research to see which state gets the trophy and finds a surprising result.

(This clip aired on October 29, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)


  1. moarscienceplz says

    This is a great clip! I’ll try to remember it the next time I think ill of an entire region just because some ambulatory turd said something nasty on Fox News. (Although I do notice that all the pro-gay stuff was coming from young people, with the exception of the photo booth guy who was going to make some money.)

  2. Matt G says

    I’ll bet there will be a pretty strong correlation with the order in which states got rid of anti-miscegenation laws.

  3. says

    Actually, as Amanda Marcotte points out, it’s really not that surprising.

    The weirdest part is all they ended up proving, at best, is that people is Mississippi and Alabama are polite. Or even just that they don’t want to start shit for no reason. Just because someone is a bigot doesn’t mean they’re on fire about it all the time, particularly if they have to deal with someone face-to-face. There are plenty of men out there who hate women with a burning passion, as the internet has amply demonstrated, but by their own Reddit confessions, they tend to keep a lid on it in public instead of screaming “CUNT!” at every woman who walks by. Racists tend to keep their lip buttoned when dealing with people of color, so much so that a lot of people end up getting a little anxious trying to figure out if the asshole is just an asshole or a racist asshole. Every liberal man or liberal white person has experienced that situation where they’re around someone bigoted who feels free to let loose with sexist or racist opinions because the people they are opining on aren’t in the room. There’s no reason to think that homophobes would be any different.

    She also points out that there are indeed going to be pro-LGBT people in those state, but the thing to remember is they are nowhere close to representing the majority; otherwise gay marriage would be be legal by now in those states.

  4. Mano Singham says

    Marcotte is undoubtedly correct. But as I have said before, all major social changes start with this kind of hypocrisy. It is a step forward when people realize they need to keep their bigoted opinions to themselves because then the new thinking gets established as normal and correct because it is rarely contradicted in public, and the next generation takes it at face value.

  5. jamessweet says

    Exactly. I don’t think anybody is under the illusion that this means Alabama and Mississippi are ready to embrace marriage equality. But it was heartening nonetheless, especially the applause from the diner patrons at the proposal. I think it’s safe to say that the proposal, at least, would have drawn jeers even just a few years ago.

    It is undoubtedly progress to go from people being openly homophobic to being somewhat-ashamedly homophobic.

  6. Wylann says

    The outright hostility to it in the opening scenes of that clip (one was a state representative, and the other was..?) makes me wonder if the government officials are truly representative of the states, or if it’s just that the older, generally less tolerant people are the ones who vote. If we could really get close to 100% of eligible voters to the booths for an election cycle, how different would things be?

  7. Mano Singham says

    The two people in the opening segments were not hostile to same-sex marriage at all. One was a civil rights attorney and the other was a newspaper columnist. They were trying to describe what they thought were the sentiments of the people in their states, not their own views. Unfortunately the video did not make that clear enough.

  8. left0ver1under says

    Arizona was the last state to enact Martin Luther King day, and look at their policies towards non-white immigrants. It wouldn’t surprise me to see that as the last one.

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