GLAAD today published a new survey of Americans’ feelings on GLBT issues. The news, I’d say, is generally positive.
- Three-quarters of U.S. adults (75%) favor either marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Only about two in 10 (22%) say gay and lesbian couples should have no legal recognition. (Gay and lesbian couples are able to marry in two states, and comprehensive civil union or domestic partnership laws exist in only five others and the District of Columbia.)
- U.S. adults are now about evenly divided on whether they support allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry (47% favor to 49% oppose).
- Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults favor allowing openly gay military personnel to serve in the armed forces. (The current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law bans military service by openly gay personnel.)
But it also called to mind a fascinating piece by Ann Friedman in The American Prospect.
This is something I’ve heard a lot in the wake of the passage of California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage. “History is on our side! Don’t worry, the demographic trends are with us!”
I’m sorry, but that’s just not good enough. These are the kind of conciliatory comments that go part and parcel with the culture-war frame. Civil-rights era activists knew history was on their side. But their goal was not to make every white American comfortable with the idea of sharing public spaces and power with people of color. It was to guarantee people of color those rights, regardless of where the culture stood. That’s the thing about rights. You have to claim them.
If you’re interested in claiming a few rights, you should sign onto People For’s petition to stop federal discrimination against some married couples and Dump DOMA.