I have mixed emotions about a recent poll by ABC News that reveals a majority of Americans support gay marriage for the first time ever. According to the piece, polling first begun on the issue in 2004, where the issue polling at a low of 34%. Now, support has reached 53%. However, when the poll breaks down the demographics, it is clear that there is still a serious divide in America on the issue among key groups.
I find it difficult to really give a shit about this poll. In the last century, when women and minorities were fighting for equality, it was groundbreaking and controversial. We needed the courts to teach society about civility. We did not wait until the issue was popular. Most importantly, we did not put the issue on the ballot and wait for the shifting political winds to make it safe for an elected official to take a stance. Years later, that is why we look back on those movements with pride.
It will take another decade before my gay and lesbian friends have anywhere near the same rights as my wife and I. It will be celebrated as groundbreaking and will be an important step for the progress of our society. And it will be. However, I will not be cheering and I will not be proud. Because we will have waited for another generation to pass, as the older generation passes on and the youth become old enough to vote, it will no longer be a courageous vote — and the issue of gay rights will be supported by over 60% of the voting population.