Americans’ Views Are Shifting

For the LGBT community, 2012 has been a good year. The fact that the president and vice president came out in support of same-gender marriage and still were re-elected by the American people in November is monumental.
The elections also showed that the American people are less resistant to same-gender marriage. The statistician and blogger Nate Silver, who happens to be gay, accurately predicted the state-by-state outcome of the presidential race and became an overnight media sensation. His predictions trumped those of Karl Rove, who missed by 73 electoral votes, and others.
Silver spoke to host Melissa Block on NPR’s All Things Considered radio show in May 2012, shortly after President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s public statements of support. He had an interesting view on the unusually fast turnaround in Americans’ views on same-sex marriage, which has since been echoed by other political pundits.
Melissa Block: White House officials yesterday were saying they’ve never seen such rapid movement in public opinion on a major social issue like this. Does that square with what you’re finding in numbers on other issues, as well?
Nate Silver: Yeah. I mean, sometimes on economic issues or issues related to domestic policy where there are events that intervene and rapidly change opinion, about a war or something. But about social issues, I mean, if you look at the numbers on abortion they’ve been pretty much the same for decades. Maybe on gun rights, there’s been some movement toward the pro-Second Amendment side, but not as rapidly as you see on gay rights issues or on gay marriage in particular.
It’s quite unusual for social issues to move even by two or three points a year, which, as we’ve seen, adds up to something pretty significant over a decade or so.
Our political efforts nationally still need to stay focused on the issue of marriage equality, one state at a time, while not losing touch with other important issues like the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) and putting an end, once and for all, to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Locally, we have much to be thankful for, due to the hard work of our state groups in Kansas and Missouri, the Kansas Equality Coalition and PROMO. Their efforts keep showing results, city by city, as they have fought for elimination of discrimination ordinances in housing and employment for LGBT people. As always, Camp will keep you posted on their efforts.
As Camp enters its 10th year in 2013, since our launch in 2004, we thank you for your support in readership and advertising and look forward to another great year serving our vibrant LGBT and allied communities.
Happy Holidays!

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