Monday, August 23, 2010

Support for Same-Sex Marriage, State by State

According to the New York Times, as of 2010, support for same-sex marriage has risen steadily, even in conservative states. Now let me explain why these numbers are still deceivingly low. First, "same-sex marriage" is a deceiving term. We aren't seeking to redefine or create a separate institution, we just want access to the same legal right that everyone else has. We don't want a special right to "gay marry"- we just want the right to marry. Secondly, the words "do you support" are deceiving. Let me explain. Ask a typical straight man if he supports gay marriage, and he might say no. After all, he's straight and has no interest in marrying another man. But ask him if he thinks gay people should have the legal right to obtain a civil marriage license, and he might say yes. It's the same issue regarding how the question is framed that's present in the cultural debate surrounding the Islamic mosque in NYC. There's a difference between believing they shouldn't do it and believing they shouldn't have the right to do it. 

But I digress. Here's the map. Not surprising that Massachusetts is first and Utah is last. But interesting that despite having constitutional amendments banning it, the majority of people in Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, and Hawaii now support same-sex marriage.

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