Chart of the Day: Same-Sex Marriage Normalized … Is Society Better Now?

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America’s about-face on same-sex marriage happened in the blink of an eye.

Just 27% of Americans supported same-sex marriage in 1996, the year President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal recognition of same-sex marriages. That’s flipped on its head: 71% now tell Gallup that same-sex and opposite-sex marriages should have the same legal recognition. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with same rights as traditional marriages?

One can say the horse is out of the barn in terms of same-sex marriage when looking at the reality of this poll. It has been successfully normalized in our society, regardless of our own personal beliefs. Politicians are left to fight on with their principles of traditional families or compromise to remain politically relevant.

CNN – The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage, called the Respect for Marriage Act, in a landmark bipartisan vote.

The final vote was 61-36. The bill was supported by all members of the Democratic caucus and 12 Republicans, the same dozen GOP members who backed the bill for a procedural vote earlier this month.

The twelve Republicans who voted for the bill include:

  • Roy Blunt of Mo.
  • Richard Burr of N.C.
  • Shelley Moore Capito of W.Va.
  • Susan Collins of Maine
  • Joni Ernst of Iowa
  • Cynthia Lummis of Wyo.
  • Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
  • Rob Portman of Ohio
  • Mitt Romney of Utah
  • Dan Sullivan of Alaska
  • Thom Tillis of N.C.
  • Todd C. Young of Ind.

While the bill would not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, it would require individual states to recognize another state’s legal marriage.

So, in the event the Supreme Court might overturn its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage, a state could still pass a law to ban same-sex marriage, but that state would be required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.

So is society better now? From a constitutional perspective, many contend that the proposed federal law runs afoul of “traditional principles of federalism” by altering the balance between state and federal power. From a cultural perspective, many contend that it is yet another assault on traditional families.

What’s next? Here is one idea.

See more Chart of the Day posts.

By Tom Williams

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