General Question

kheredia's avatar

Do you think there will ever be a time when the U.S. accepts gays as equals and allows them to marry just like everybody else?

Asked by kheredia (5535 points ) June 26th, 2011

The governor of New York just passed a bill into law allowing gay people to marry. This will be the 6th state in the U.S. to do this but there is still a lot of controversy with this topic and a lot of hate toward gay people. Will this be a continuous battle among Americans or will there actually be a time in which married gay couples will be just as common and accepted as straight married couples? If so, do you think we are even close to that time or will it be decades before it happens? What opinions do you have on this topic?

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58 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I think gay marriage on a federally accepted level will happen within the next century, but gays will still be seen as “less than” or morally wrong for centuries to come.

Plucky's avatar

I just saw that on the news tonight. I think it’s a great step. I think the marriage of gay couples will become normal at some point (worldwide, not just in the U.S.). I don’t think it will be in my life time though.

Whether it will be generally accepted is an entirely different matter.

augustlan's avatar

I think it will happen much sooner than @MyNewtBoobs predicts. Momentum is gaining every day, and the latest polls show that a majority of Americans are pro-gay marriage, finally. Even some Republicans have come to support it. I can’t imagine it won’t happen in my life-time (I’m almost 44).

Total acceptance will take much longer. Gays are still a minority, by a long shot. Minorities are pretty often seen as ‘other’, and some people always have a hard time with that. I do think it’s getting better very quickly, though. One of my kids (a junior in high school) just attended a mock state congress program, and one of the issues they had to debate and ‘vote’ on was gay marriage. All but 2 of the 300 kids in attendance voted for it, including the conservatives. 10 or 20 years ago, I’d guess the vote would have had a far different result.

Bellatrix's avatar

I hope so, and I hope it happens in my country too, but here it won’t happen while the current bunch of pollies (opposition or government) are in place.

bob_'s avatar

Yes.

Plucky's avatar

@augustlan I agree that acceptance will happen sooner than centuries. The fact of how globally conscious humans have become also plays a huge role in that (and will continue to do so).

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@augustlan True, but issues don’t progress in a straight line forward. You gain some ground, but then there’s a backlash. And you gain some more ground, and a new conservative movement pops up. We’re more conservative about abortion now than we were 30 years ago.

kheredia's avatar

This all makes me feel better. I posted an article on my Facebook about the New York bill that just passed and already 3 people spoke against it. I was beginning to feel alone on my belief that gay marriage should be legal everywhere. I am happy to see that people are so optimistic about this issue.

krrazypassions's avatar

It is not easy to break old customs and norms- Change is a hard thing- People are not open-minded.
..though its hard for me to understand why there are gays and lesbians- but still i do not hate them or oppose them- there are a lot of different people everywhere- its not necessary that one has to understand why they are like they are.
Live and Let Live is the best policy

whitenoise's avatar

I hope, but also think it will happen a lot sooner than people think.

Just the fact that gay marriage is now legal in 6 states will create a situation in which more and more Americans will notice that the world will continue to turn as usual and that there are more important (real) issues to be afraid of. Furthermore the more gay people get out in the open, the more people will get to know some of them and realize gay people are pretty normal folk, as are all others.

More people will get more friends of which they know they’re gay and the pivot point that the political gain from being pro-marriage outweighs the political loss will approach rapidly.

(with gay I mean any same sex marriage, not sure whether I use the term correctly :-) )

funkdaddy's avatar

In 20 years it will probably be legal nationwide. Acceptance seems to depend on so much more than legality though so that’s harder to imagine and predict.

You have to remember that 50 years ago separate but equal was still in place and around the same time there were laws against people of different races marrying. You can argue things haven’t progressed enough in those 50 years, but there’s no denying we’ve come a long way since then. Unfortunately there’s also no denying some people still don’t accept that those changes were the right thing,

It may seem too slow, and there will be regression and opposition, but it will happen sooner than later.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, I do. It will take some time, but it will happen.

cookieman's avatar

Yes, but it will continue to be a slow process taking many years.

As older, more traditional generations and ways of thought make way for younger leaders, teachers and role models – attitudes will continue to shift toward greater acceptance. Progress is made one death at a time.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Just to be clear, I think it definitely could happen in less than a hundred years. I’m just not that optimistic about all the various “We’ll have blank in 30 years!” stuff. You know, seeing as how I don’t have my personal jetpack, a flying car, or food entirely in pill form like I was freaking promised. So I like to leave quite a bit of wiggle room.

creative1's avatar

I think everyone should just accept everyone else for whom they are and let gay marriage happen. It will happen eventually and hoping sooner than later so people in every state can marry the person they love regardless if they are same sex or not. What really is sad to me is that the church who is suppose to be so loving and accepting is so against it and will never accept it. They will oppose it and are behind slowing down the process for the states not already having accepting it. If they had gotten behind the issue then it would already have been accepted.

Personally I am straight but that is me but I have a couple of friends who are gay and I can’t understand accepting people for who they are.

marinelife's avatar

I think that it will come.

chyna's avatar

Yes, and I think it will be within the next 10 years.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Yes. Will everyone accept it? No. There will always be people who are against things. Nothing you can do to force them to accept it. They will just have to live with it. Just like gays will have to live with the fact that there are some people who do not accept their lifestyle. Me? I don’t care if the U.S. accepts it or not. It doesn’t phase me a bit.

pshizzle's avatar

People are people whether they are gay, straight, bisexual, trans-gender, lesbian, questioning, black, white, Asian, whatever!

emeraldisles's avatar

There will always be people who are homophobic and against gay marriage for whatever the reason, though I personally don’t have a problem with it what so ever.

filmfann's avatar

I live in California, which you would think would be progressive enough to be cool about this, but it isn’t.
I have 2 close friends who are married. She is white, he is black, and they are constantly facing the judgement of others who look down on this.
It will take generations for the gay community to reach the point where everyone will be cool about it, and it’s a damn shame.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Legally yes, in time, perhaps. Other countries have done so already. But there will always be discrimination against homosexuals, just like there will always be discrimination against visible minorities.

I don’t know what all the fuss is about concerning the legalization of gay marriage. I don’t see any harm in it, and if it makes life happier for some people (gay people), why not?

Kardamom's avatar

The rights and laws will come pretty soon. But gays will always be looked down upon as second class citizens. So will women. Women achieved the right to vote almost 100 years ago, but we still don’t have equal rights. I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon (or even in my lifetime).

dannyc's avatar

In 2 generations a majority will accept it naturally. Till that point it will always be a struggle. Progress for some, outrage for others as history and human understanding evolves.

flutherother's avatar

They can’t marry in the UK but they can enter into a ‘civil partnership’ which is legally pretty much the same thing.

tinyfaery's avatar

Yes. I might even invite a few Jellies to my wedding, because we are gonna have one. A good one. Maybe on a boat.

MrItty's avatar

It’s definitely going to happen. The only question is when.

Rosa Parks’s refusal to move kicked off the Black civil rights movement in 1955. In 2008, a Black man was elected president. 53 years.

Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-sex marriage in 2004. Give it until about 2057, and I’ll be shocked if GLBT Americans don’t have the same rights as straight Americans, nationwide.

Anyone who can’t see that this is the way public opinion and morality is turning is clearly delusional.

Jude's avatar

@tinyfaery I’ll be there, if invited. Would you come to ours?

Yes! It is in Canada. :)

woodcutter's avatar

Yeah. It’s only fair they get to experience divorce courts, alimony, and child custody battles like everyone else.

noly's avatar

In Ouganda the parliament passed a law to give jail to gays who are caught kissing or hugging…but even those who dont report will be jailed.It s sad but it reflects their social norms.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I live in NY and I was actually shocked that our state senate passed this bill into law. Call me a pessimist, but I didn’t have a lot of hope. I am thrilled that NY is the 6th state to legalize gay marriage and I really hope that more states follow suit.

In the local blogs and media, there has been a sh** storm of people who have been very vocal in their stand against gay marriage. The ignorance and judgmental words are the exact opposite of what this country is supposed to stand for, and I am so sick of reading the hate. I can’t believe that we have to continue to fight for minority rights. For the rights of those who may be a bit different than the rest. For simple equality.

Congrats to all of the couples in NY who have waited for the right to legally declare their love. I am now going to help my best friend plan his wedding, and I’m so blessed to be the one that is going to walk him down the aisle.

ETpro's avatar

Yes, it will happen. My state was the first in the union, and already, it’s no big deal here. When it happened here in Massachusetts, it was through the decision here came from the State Supreme Judicial Court finding that discrimination against homosexuals in marriage rights is unconstitutional per our state’s constitution. At the time, the public was fairly divided. But it took Republicans several years to mount a legislative attempt at a constitutional amendment, and that failed. They then took several more years to gather signatures, get them certified, and get the legislature to act on the possibility of constitutional amendment by ballot initiative. That also failed. In that time, public opinion had massively shifted. All the lies the Christian Right had spread about gay Scout leaders and gay teachers teaching kids to be gay, and wholesale marriage break-ups with everyone suddenly marrying a same-sex partner turned out to be pure hogwash. Currently, I think the polling shows that 66% of straights here favor marriage equality, and that number keeps growing.

Nationally, it’s more like 53% support marriage equality while 45% oppose it. And that has changed drastically over the last two decades. Just 15 years ago, only 27% supported it while 68% opposed.

But hate and bigotry die a slow death. 150 years after the end of slavery and 50 years after the civil rights act, we still have the KKK and skinheads with us, and racist dog whistle politics still works well enough one of the tow parties resorts to it on a regular basis. Racial Prejudice isn’t dead, it’s just mostly in the closet. It’s dying, but it’s a slow, agonizing death.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I think in 15 years, any adult, single, and consenting human beings will be allowed to marry in the United states. Some people are so pessimistic.

Change is coming, and I think it’s coming fast.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I really think that it will be common and ‘normal’ eventually. I certainly don’t think gays will be thought of as ‘less than’ for centuries to come, like @MyNewtBoobs said but who knows.

throssog's avatar

Gay Marriage? If , by this you mean Civil Marriage – then the answer is : It already is legal. However, it may not be recognized in “your” state or nation, as yet. If you mean Religious Marriage: That has no meaning under USA legal system as such, i.e., until registered with the civil authorities in the state in which ceremony was performed.
To, hopefully, clarify my comments: Civil marriage is nothing more than the formation of a civil corporate entity, i.e., a corporation. Thus, when dissolving it, i.e., divorce, there must be a division of assets and allocation of continuing responsibilities and debts ( child support, alimony, etc.)
Religious Marriage carries no such burdens. But is a metaphysical stat of eternal union which secular law can not entertain.

funkdaddy's avatar

From CNN today – I was wrong about same-sex marriage

Just one person, but one person who stood up and argued against same sex marriage for a number of reasons. It would seem to be indicative of changing views in general.

I was a strong opponent of same-sex marriage. Fourteen years ago, Andrew Sullivan and I forcefully debated the issue at length online (at a time when online debate was a brand new thing).

Yet I find myself strangely untroubled by New York state’s vote to authorize same-sex marriage—a vote that probably signals that most of “blue” states will follow within the next 10 years.

MrItty's avatar

@throssog No, it is not already legal. At least, not most places. Only 6 states in the United States have legalized gay marriage. There are some others where marriages performed elsewhere are legally recognized there, but there are significantly more where it is explicitly forbidden. It is the opposite of legal. It is not a matter of simply “recognizing” a civil contract between two people. There are literally over a thousand laws and statutes that govern what married people can do that same-sex couples legally cannot. Officials who attempt to grant a marriage license or perform a wedding ceremony for those couples are subject to arrest and prosecution.

It is SIGNIFICANTLY more than a simple formation of a civil corporate entity.

Plucky's avatar

The worldwide comparison of homosexual marriage is very staggered. Wikipedia has an interesting map of homosexual laws/marriage – scroll a bit lower for the colour key to the map. It’s interesting to see it laid out like that.

Same-sex marriage is legally recognized nationwide in: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden (source).

throssog's avatar

Dear Mrlitty, It would seem that you and I have a misunderstanding as to the meaning of terms. The problem would, to me, seem to be that you and the USA confuse what is “A Law” with what is legal and lawful. The attempt is being made to formalize either the rejection or acceptance of civil unions within a framework of gender bias and without regard to the state of civil law as regards the creation of civil corporations as such under USA and state(s) law.
IMHO, to permit this distraction to set the premise(s) of the argument/debate is a prime case of self-defeatism. But, perhaps you would view it differently?

kheredia's avatar

@throssog Nobody is talking about religious marriage (we all know that will never happen, not in our lifetime at least). As of now, a gay couple cannot walk into any courthouse in the U.S. to get married unless they live in one of the 6 states where it IS legal. For some of us, the civil marriage is more important than the religious marriage and that is all that we (supporters of gay marriage) are asking for; to be legally married to the person they love.

ETpro's avatar

@kheredia Religious marriages are available right now in Massachusetts and other states where same-sex marriage has been legal for some time. I am sure the same will be true in New York. It is up to each church and denomination to decide their position on that issue. The Human Rights Council has compiled this list of gay friendly Christian churches. Of course, there are other religions and some of them are far more welcoming of all humans.

But given that it took the Pope 359 years to get around to admitting that the Sun is the center of the Solar System, and that Galileo was right, not a heretic; I would say you are right when it comes to Catholics and fundamentalist prostetants.

kheredia's avatar

@ETpro Interesting… I had no idea.. I guess you do learn something new every day! Maybe we’re not that bad after all.

ETpro's avatar

@kheredia I’m a lot more sanguine about humanity’s chances than many. When I look back at ancient history, we have made some progress since the days when rape and pillage ruled the entire world. Still got a long way to go, but were heading mostly in a positive direction.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. Progress is unstoppable.

ETpro's avatar

@mattbrowne Indeed. There are those that hate the progressives, making them regressives. Fortunately, the regressives don’t hold a majority. They’re just very loud.

throssog's avatar

A law “legalizing” gay marriage…why would one be needed? Civil marriage has never,to my knowledge, required that the parties to it be of opposite genders – until recently, of course. Now, ah now, one will be needed. By the way, some religious faiths and churches have performed gay, i.e., same sex marriages. Best of luck to those who wish to join together.

MrItty's avatar

@throssog your knowledge is incorrect. Please do some research on the issue.

lillycoyote's avatar

@kheredia Yes, @ETpro is right. It is, as with any marriage, up to the church and the individual clergy to solemnize a marriage in any particular church. Catholic priests are not required to marry divorced heterosexuals nor are any clergy or rabbis required to marry heterosexual mixed religious couples if it is not in keeping with the tenets or teachings of their particular church, temple, denomination. Divorced Catholics can remarry, the just can’t have the ceremony performed by a priest in a Catholic church. And jews and gentiles can marry but some clergy and some rabbis won’t perform the ceremony. That will always be the case even when same sex marriage is legal universally in the U.S. Some churches will choose to allow “religious” same-sex marriage ceremonies and some won’t. The legality of the union and any religious institution choosing to “sanctify” and recognize that union is, has always been, and will always be a separate issue.

Not all religious denominations or religious individuals. are opposed to homosexuality or homosexual marriage nor do all churches refuse to perform the ceremony. That is simply not true.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@kheredia I recently asked a friend who is a Christian minister in the southern US if he would perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. His response was that he would as long as they were Christian or open to the belief.

throssog's avatar

My dear mrltty, my info is correct. The difficulty is you are not reading it, but rather what you wish it to be. The nature of the law, in this area, was (before it became muddied) that it was not illegal for same-sex couples to marry. That is how it wound up in the courts. Registrars refused – illegally – to marry same-sex couples, and so, off to court they went. And only the passage of laws against marriages of this sort were possible for our politicians.
Why, my friend, do you think there has been such a plethora of laws being enacted and
such an uproar of the masses for and against?
Surely you are aware of the dicta that that on which the law is silent is permitted? If not, may I suggest that you do a bit of research? The state of this situation , now, requires law to allow it. Before, had there been no refusal and popular rejection, it did not.

MrItty's avatar

You are arguing idiotic technicalities. Whether same-sex couples were prevented from enjoying the full rights and priviledges of married couples by judicial decisions, legislative passages, or over-active town clerks, the fact remains that it was not possible for them to obtain a marriage license, and that it is STILL not possible for them to obtain a marriage license in most jurisdictions in the United States. Maybe the means by which they are denied means something to you, but it means jack s*** to the multitudes of couples who simply want the same rights as everyone else.

throssog's avatar

I think you will find that the “idiotic technicalities” are what will, eventually, make it possible for these folk to enjoy the rights that have always been theirs. How it works,eh?

MrItty's avatar

That is just a complete denial of reality. Once LGBT couples started seeking the right to marry, not one state in the union shrugged and said “Golly gee, there’s nothing on the books denying them that right, guess it’s okay!” without legislative and/or judicial interference.

What is going to make it possible are the bigots and the homophobes dying out or having their minds changed by activists. Nothing else.

throssog's avatar

I fear we must disagree. The only thing that will make it possible is for the law to be decided in their favour. So sorry, but that is how it works – ask any Black Person.:)

MrItty's avatar

And you think the law changing just kinda happens on its own? One day the country wakes up and discovers that the law has been altered while they were asleep last night?

PEOPLE change the laws. People who get elected to governmental positions, and people who actively change the minds of those already in power.

Blacks and Whites have equal rights today because of an enormous movement. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It was called the Civil Rights Movement. The change didn’t happen overnight, and didn’t happen by chance. It happened because people made it happen.

throssog's avatar

I do not deny that activism is needful, nor that it will require planning of the acts to be engaged in. Perhaps you have some acquaintance with Mr. Sharp and his social change books? Perhaps you are familiar with the work that went into the Civil Rights Movement? The years of organization and the training? Non-violent social change is a field of some interest to me. I have followed its development for decades. Ploughshares 2000 being a wonderful example of a declining system. I know you want some one to be disturbed at and I have sympathy with your plight. However, it will still be the law, now that it has been called upon, that will determine the outcome.
It is always so when an act or activity, or status is called into question. The law is sought to deal with that which it was never designed to deal with.

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