Signs of a turning tide for LGBT rights

Two pieces of good news today in the world of LGBT rights.

First, a number of black religious leaders outside Washington DC apologized formally to their LGBT congregants for “what the organizers described as the church’s judgmental attitude toward individuals who experience same-sex attraction and their loved ones.” Wow.

Second, a new poll out from Southern Illinois University indicates that more American’s now support same-sex marriage than oppose it for the first time ever. According to the data, this is a huge shift of public opinion in just the last twenty years.

Graph showing the percentage of Americans opposed to same-sex marriage and in support of it over the years

This graph, via Religion Dispatches, shows the dramatic change in public opinion since 1988. In 1988, the graph shows that only 12.4% of American’s supported same-sex marriage. In 2010, that percentage was 46.4%.

This follows on the heels of Obama’s announcement that he won’t defend part of the Defense of Marriage Act, to which Speaker Boehner only responded that he should be focusing on the economy instead.

As Jill from Feministe pointed out to me last week, that’s a pretty tame response from such a widely Conservative politician and shows that he knows this issue is all but lost for them.

This kind of news gives me a little bit of hope that we’re moving in the right direction in terms of attitudes towards sexuality and rights for queer folks.

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  • Matt

    Just as a nitpick, these developments seem to have everything to do with GLB rights and little to do with T rights. It’s not to say that leaving off the T would be better (since it may lead to people forgetting about Transgender people), but it feels somewhat unsettling to gain warm fuzzies by including T without offering them anything.

    • Anders

      Matt – agreed. This is not my victory. I’m a trans fag in a same-gender relationship, but legally we’re of the opposite sex since he’s changed his documentation and I haven’t. Also I have no plans to marry anyone for a variety of personal and political reasons. I often want to tell Teh Marriage Gays to put that one in their pipe and smoke it.

      I think people who write about DOMA, etc. need to remember that this is only making one [capitalist, patriarchal] institution more gay-friendly, not winning liberation for queer people in general.