Elizabeth Warren, the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts stated in a recent Time magazine article, “Because of our Constitution, senseless discrimination cannot survive when it is brought out of the darkness. And it is because of the tireless work of jurists, lawyers, husbands like Jim Obergefell, and countless other LGBT Americans who stepped forward to speak out, that our nation will no longer look away from what our Constitution requires.”
The rise in support for same-sex marriage over the past decade is among the largest changes in opinion on any policy issue over this time period. According to the Pew Research Center. When those who say they have shifted to supporting same-sex marriage are asked why their views changed, people offer a range of answers. Roughly, a third (32%) say it is because they know someone – a friend, family member or other acquaintance – who is gay.
The Gallup Poll data showed similar results , that many views toward gay and lesbian issues are related -- in some instances, strongly so -- to personal experience with individuals who are gay or lesbian. There are two plausible explanations for this relationship. One is that exposure to gays and lesbians leads to greater acceptance, regardless of one's ideological leanings. The second is that people who are more accepting of gays and lesbians are more likely to put themselves into situations in which they are exposed to gays and lesbians -- in terms of cities and regions of residence, as well as workplace and social choices. Both of these processes are at work, though it is difficult to say which is more important.
This is a remarkable turnabout. The consistent reason given was personal contact or knowing someone. No one should operate outside of his or her comfort zone but just the right word, outreach opportunity, and conversation can make a big difference. Let's not be complacent. National organizations that represent the LGBT community are doing an amazing job of bringing our issues to the forefront. There is no obligation to tell anyone that we are transgender but attitude shifts occur first at the friend, family and acquaintance level. Let’s learn from history.
Note: This is a follow up to a post I made on Femulate: “Lofty Causes and Every Day Causes”. Thank you Stana for all the support and help getting my blog going.