Talking to Conservatives: Tips on Reaching Across the Aisle

Tips on talking to political adversaries. Moving past politics, partisanship and labels, recognizing corporatism masquerading as progressivism or conservatism, and going straight to the issues. Read on...

Support for Gay Marriage Is on the Rise

Gay marriage has been a contentious issue for decades now, especially among more conservative, religious groups, but recently there has been an important shift in public opinion. According to a recent poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post, more than half of Americans believe that gays and lesbians should have the right to legally marry. In a similar survey, CNN/Opinion Research found that 51% of respondents said that same-sex marriages should be legal.

Even though the opposition to gay marriage is more than 2-1 among Republicans and conservatives and 3-1 among evangelical white Protestants, there has been a decline in opposition to gay marriage among these groups in the last few years, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll. Other more traditionally conservative groups such as Catholics and moderates, adults in their 30’s and 40’s, and men, have shown increasing support for the issue in recent years. Furthermore, the generational/gender disparity remains in tact, as 60% of Americans under the age of 50 still support gay marriage, but only four in ten of those individuals over 50 also support same-sex marriage. A recent CNN/Opinion Research survey found that more than half of men are against the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 57% of women are in favor of it. 

Furthermore, a recent Gallup Poll  found that 56% of people say that they believe that gay or lesbian relations are morally acceptable, which is the highest percentage it’s been since the question was first asked in 2001. Yet, when it comes to the origins of same-sex orientation, there is an almost even split among Americans. 42% say that being a lesbian or gay is “due to factors such as an upbringing and environment,” whereas 40% believe that it is “something a person is born with.” The trend over time demonstrates that since 1978 the majority of Americans (56%) believed that homosexuality was a product of one’s environment. Throughout the years, however, there has been a significant shift in the beliefs around the origins of homosexuality, and now in 2011 there is an almost even division among Americans regarding the nature vs. nurture argument. 

However, due to a particularly polarizing political climate surrounding the issue, the fight for the legalization of gay marriage is far from over. Same-sex marriage has been legalized in five states and the District of Columbia since 2003, but many other states still prohibit it. Last February, the Obama administration said that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is a 1996 law banning federal recognition of gay marriages (please see ABC News/Washington Post Poll for more info). Therefore, although some states recognize the legalization of same-sex marriage, there is still important work to be done.

Despite some remnant opposition, this upward trend in support of gay marriage reveals some major shifts in the hearts and minds of Americans, as compared to several years ago. With this kind of progressive thinking in conjunction with legal action, we may be one step closer in achieving equal opportunity for all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. 

Support for Gay Marriage Is on the Rise

Gay marriage has been a contentious issue for decades now, especially among more conservative, religious groups, but recently there has been an important shift in public opinion. According to a recent poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post, more than half of Americans believe that gays and lesbians should have the right to legally marry. In a similar survey, CNN/Opinion Research found that 51% of respondents said that same-sex marriages should be legal.

Even though the opposition to gay marriage is more than 2-1 among Republicans and conservatives and 3-1 among evangelical white Protestants, there has been a decline in opposition to gay marriage among these groups in the last few years, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll. Other more traditionally conservative groups such as Catholics and moderates, adults in their 30’s and 40’s, and men, have shown increasing support for the issue in recent years. Furthermore, the generational/gender disparity remains in tact, as 60% of Americans under the age of 50 still support gay marriage, but only four in ten of those individuals over 50 also support same-sex marriage. A recent CNN/Opinion Research survey found that more than half of men are against the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 57% of women are in favor of it. 

Furthermore, a recent Gallup Poll  found that 56% of people say that they believe that gay or lesbian relations are morally acceptable, which is the highest percentage it’s been since the question was first asked in 2001. Yet, when it comes to the origins of same-sex orientation, there is an almost even split among Americans. 42% say that being a lesbian or gay is “due to factors such as an upbringing and environment,” whereas 40% believe that it is “something a person is born with.” The trend over time demonstrates that since 1978 the majority of Americans (56%) believed that homosexuality was a product of one’s environment. Throughout the years, however, there has been a significant shift in the beliefs around the origins of homosexuality, and now in 2011 there is an almost even division among Americans regarding the nature vs. nurture argument. 

However, due to a particularly polarizing political climate surrounding the issue, the fight for the legalization of gay marriage is far from over. Same-sex marriage has been legalized in five states and the District of Columbia since 2003, but many other states still prohibit it. Last February, the Obama administration said that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is a 1996 law banning federal recognition of gay marriages (please see ABC News/Washington Post Poll for more info). Therefore, although some states recognize the legalization of same-sex marriage, there is still important work to be done.

Despite some remnant opposition, this upward trend in support of gay marriage reveals some major shifts in the hearts and minds of Americans, as compared to several years ago. With this kind of progressive thinking in conjunction with legal action, we may be one step closer in achieving equal opportunity for all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. 

Prongs and Sockets: Donohue Has a Short Between the Ears

Catholic League president Bill Donohue is outraged. Outraged because those damn gays are getting married. Bill says that if you open the door, a Rick Santorumesque world holds sway – threesomes and moresomes will suck all the life out of the Catholic church and bring the human race to ruination.

Bill’s outraged that nature disqualified homosexuals from parenting because they don’t have matching equipment. Yet, they insist on marrying to raise children within the framework of stable 2-parent couplings. Or as Bill more electrifyingly puts it, “I mean, let’s face it. If you want electricity, if you want juice, you can’t have two sockets touch each other or two prongs. The prong has to penetrate the socket.”

Make sure you have a good solid ground too.

Methinks Bill should think more about that whole, “the prong has to penetrate the socket” analogy though. Clearly, there are lots of gay prongs penetrating lots of gay sockets as we speak. Presumably lesbians would need to make other arrangements. Perhaps a turkey baster plug for their procreative sockets.

He’s afraid of dysfunctional Hallmark moments too. “We just had father’s day,” he explained. “What do you say to these kids when you have two mothers?”

How about, “excuse me Johnny you have two Daddies. We know that makes picking out a Father’s Day card a little tricky, but suck it up. Life’s hard kid.”

It seems this whole gay marriage thing is a bigger issue than holding Latin-only mass. What would happen if Fridays went fish-free? What if that papal infallibility thing turned out to be wrong? What would happen if Ratzie suddenly said, “Oops, it turns out that pedophiliac priests really aren’t very wholesome after all. Phew, glad I can make infallible corrections.”

Bill, priests are hard to come by these days and your congregations are shrinking. Isn’t it time you and Ratzie drag the church into the 16th century? A time when the Earth is round and the planets revolve around the sun? Americans are running from this medieval nonsense and that can’t be a good thing. Your Big Boss upstairs can’t be happy about your results and you know it’s not nice to fool with your Superior Being.

C’mon Bill, let’s plug Prong A into Slot B and catch up with the times.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

 

Prongs and Sockets: Donohue Has a Short Between the Ears

Catholic League president Bill Donohue is outraged. Outraged because those damn gays are getting married. Bill says that if you open the door, a Rick Santorumesque world holds sway – threesomes and moresomes will suck all the life out of the Catholic church and bring the human race to ruination.

Bill’s outraged that nature disqualified homosexuals from parenting because they don’t have matching equipment. Yet, they insist on marrying to raise children within the framework of stable 2-parent couplings. Or as Bill more electrifyingly puts it, “I mean, let’s face it. If you want electricity, if you want juice, you can’t have two sockets touch each other or two prongs. The prong has to penetrate the socket.”

Make sure you have a good solid ground too.

Methinks Bill should think more about that whole, “the prong has to penetrate the socket” analogy though. Clearly, there are lots of gay prongs penetrating lots of gay sockets as we speak. Presumably lesbians would need to make other arrangements. Perhaps a turkey baster plug for their procreative sockets.

He’s afraid of dysfunctional Hallmark moments too. “We just had father’s day,” he explained. “What do you say to these kids when you have two mothers?”

How about, “excuse me Johnny you have two Daddies. We know that makes picking out a Father’s Day card a little tricky, but suck it up. Life’s hard kid.”

It seems this whole gay marriage thing is a bigger issue than holding Latin-only mass. What would happen if Fridays went fish-free? What if that papal infallibility thing turned out to be wrong? What would happen if Ratzie suddenly said, “Oops, it turns out that pedophiliac priests really aren’t very wholesome after all. Phew, glad I can make infallible corrections.”

Bill, priests are hard to come by these days and your congregations are shrinking. Isn’t it time you and Ratzie drag the church into the 16th century? A time when the Earth is round and the planets revolve around the sun? Americans are running from this medieval nonsense and that can’t be a good thing. Your Big Boss upstairs can’t be happy about your results and you know it’s not nice to fool with your Superior Being.

C’mon Bill, let’s plug Prong A into Slot B and catch up with the times.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

 

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