A New America?

As the debate over gay marriage has been active throughout the years, I feel as though Americans truly have progressed over the years in terms of accepting gay and lesbian people in society. Just today an article was posted in the Huffington Post stating that Chris Kluwe, a Minnesota Vikings punter, defends gay marriage. More and more supporters are appearing and fighting for gay rights. The article says that it’s about “being able to lead your life free of oppression” [2]. Kluwe is now campaigning on behalf of a group called Minnesotans for Equality, urging votes to beat back a ballot initiative in Minnesota that would prevent gay and lesbians from marrying. In the Pew Forum Religion & Public Life article titled “A Contentious Debate: Same-Sex Marriage in the U.S” in 2009, it was started that four states have legalized same sex marriage [1]. As of now, six states have legalized same sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont as well as the District of Columbia.
People are becoming more and more open about allowing gay people to form a life longing bond with their partner. Gay people have been calling for the right to marry since the 1960s, but same sex marriage has only become a national issue within the last 20 years. In addition to allow gay and lesbian people to marry, in June 2009 President Obama allowed family medical leave and other health benefits to same-sex partners.
But of course there are always people on the other side. For example the Catholic Church and many evangelical Christian groups have opposed gay marriage. In some instances, the “opponents of legalizing same-sex marriage have consistently outnumbered supporter” [1]. Gay marriage sometimes goes against the values of certain religions. Changing their views can be extremely difficult. In addition to religious groups opposing gay marriage, some political campaigns oppose same sex marriage as well [4].
But besides all the opposition towards gay marriage, Americans’ support for the moral acceptability of gay and lesbian relations crossed the 50% threshold in 2010 according to Gallup politics. Even in media now, gay people are becoming major roles in TV shows and movies. For example in Modern Family, Partner, Ugly Betty, Glee, Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, and even Friends there is a least one gay or lesbian character. Especially in Modern family, the gay or lesbian character does not seem to be excluded, but rather seen in a positive light. With the rising awareness of gay people in media, I feel people are more open to the idea and acceptance of these individuals.
There will always be debate between the two sides of supporting and opposing same sex marriage. But I do feel that America has come a long way in becoming more open about the idea through the government and media.

[1] http://www.pewforum.org/Gay-Marriage-and-Homosexuality/A-Contentious-Debate-Same-Sex-Marriage-in-the-US.aspx
[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/23/chris-kluwe-minnesota-vikings-gay-marriage-letter_n_1907200.html
[3] http://www.gallup.com/poll/135764/americans-acceptance-gay-relations-crosses-threshold.aspx

1 thought on “A New America?

  1. Cheddar: You referenced all the new (and older) television shows that have gay characters in them and how sometimes these shows engage with issues the gay and lesbian community must face (for example, in Modern Family the gay male couple is trying to adopt a second child or in Glee, how Kurt was bullied by a football player who then came out as gay). If there is such “acceptance” (these shows and their actors are winning awards left and right) for gay characters on tv, why do states keep voting against gay marriage? Why the disconnect?

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