Support for legally recognized same-sex marriage
in the U.S. got a big boost in the November 6th national election. Voters
in Maine, Maryland, and Washington exercised citizen power to legalize gay
marriage in their states. With these three, there are now nine states with
marriage equality, including Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
Vermont, and New York, plus the District of Columbia. Passage of these ballot
referenda shows strengthening grass-roots support for legalized gay marriage,
in contrast to the past 20 years. Previously, 32 states put gay marriage to a vote and it was defeated
every single time.

    Minnesota showed another sign of positive change
in this election. It is the first state in which voters rejected a
constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, though such unions are still
illegal there. Previously, 30 other states have gone the other way and have constitutionalized
bans—a more challenging obstacle to equality. 

    As pointed out in my previous post, the shift of
public opinion demonstrated in this election is just one more baby-step toward
greater recognition and social acceptance of same-sex marriage and sexual
diversity generally.  Furthermore,
gay-bashing in political ads proved to be a failure. The momentum toward
tolerance shown in election results implies increasing acceptance of diverse
sexual identities.  U.S News and World
online (Nov. 8, 2012) asserted that “Half of Americans believe their states
should recognize marriages of same-sex couples.”  The weight of public opinion may even encourage
the Supreme Court to examine and rule on the constitutionality of the U.S.
federal ban on gay marriage, DOMA—the Defense of Marriage Act. 

    While social change is excruciatingly slow, it is
encouraging that more people can now openly, legally marry the person they
love, whether opposite sex or same sex.  As
straight spouses, why should we care?  Just
this: These changing attitudes suggest that in the future there may be fewer married
heterosexuals blindsided by the discovery that their spouses are secretly gay.

    Though trends in this election may not directly help those straight spouses struggling through their crises today, the next generation
should see fewer doomed mixed-orientation marriages based on deception and
lies. May it be so!






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  1. Mandy says:

    I am very encouraged by the election results! However, just this morning I read about the Vatican reiterating it's stance against gay marriage and it seems, gays in general. Would love to hear your opinion on this ... What will it take for the Vatican to change it's position? Perhaps it can't change it's position because it's backed itself into a corner?

  2. Gail Storey says:

    Carol, I so appreciate your excellent capsulation of where our country is after the election with marriage equality! The shift in public opinion toward marriage equality is incredibly heartening. I especially like your summation of what it means for relationships based on honesty, thank you.

  3. Lou says:

    As always, your comments seem to me to be very wisely stated while shared with such insight and care. Thank you, Carol, for stating these.
    If persons in general can become move accepting about diversity (of races, cultures, sexuality, religions, etc., etc.) then I, personally, believe we all benefit. We all have so much to learn from each other. Yet change is difficult....... why? Are we "afraid" to risk reaching out to know someone of a differing perspective? Again, why? Do we somehow feel threatened or challenged? Why?
    Then I stop and realize that it would be just as difficult for me to change my thinking (I feel I am a moderate) to believe an ultra conservative way of thinking/being/acting. Yet in reality I sometimes think "how / why" can others possibly believe their narrow viewpoints when living in today's society?
    I believe there has to be a give and take (that includes my learning / growing / changing, too)! I continue to profess that when we know persons as persons – and not as labels – then we all grow in understanding human nature and ourselves more fully.
    Maybe we need to recognize that this “problem” didn’t happen overnight so it will take time to educate ourselves and others to new and wonderful ways of accepting reality. Whether one likes it or not, homosexuality is a reality. These election results can be a great beginning in order to be more fair to our children, to one’s spouse, or to oneself?

  4. Carol Grever says:

    Thanks for your comment and interesting question, Mandy.  Ill comment on it on the blog. 

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