Support for marriage equality keeps growing, now a majority view

SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY KEEPS GROWING, NOW A MAJORITY VIEW…. The debate has clearly gotten away from the right, and it’s only going to get worse.

Support for same-sex marriage has received a boost, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research survey released Tuesday.

The poll indicates that more than half of all Americans believe that marriages between gay or lesbian couples should be legally valid. With 51 percent of respondents saying that same-sex marriages should be legal, it is the first time that a CNN poll has found majority support for same-sex marriage.

To be sure, while this is now the opinion of the American majority, there are predictable divisions. Democrats and independents support marriage equality, but Republicans don’t. Americans throughout most of the country endorse same-sex marriage, but those in the South don’t. Younger Americans strongly endorse equality, old Americans remain on the other side.

But the trend is unmistakable, and is bolstered by the results in other national polls.

I don’t imagine we’ll ever see 100% unanimity on this question. There’s probably still a tiny percentage of the population that still opposes people of different races or different religions from marrying, too.

But even the most radically anti-gay conservative has to realize that equality is inevitable. As the arc of history continues to bend toward justice, most of the country now believes two consenting adults should be legally permitted to get married if they want to. It’s exceptionally unlikely that trend will ever reverse — civil-rights trajectories simply never move that way. Society becomes less prejudiced, less hateful, and less bigoted over time.

And there’s not much the right can do about it.

To be sure, I don’t really expect conservatives to just throw in the towel — they have too much invested in this — but (a) winning elections by attacking gays is going to be a lot more difficult going forward; and (b) we can safely say marriage equality is only a matter of “when,” not “if.”