Long-Term Trends Favor Gay Marriage

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Andrew Sullivan points out today that for the second year in a row a majority of Americans say they favor legalizing same-sex marriage. But the real news is in the long-term trend:

On a wide variety of issues related to gays, polling over the years has shown a consistent trend: although there are short-term ups and downs, over longer periods the public has become steadily more supportive of gay equality at the rate of about 1-2% per year. And the same is true here. Public opinion has shifted 23 points in 12 years.

The good news here is obvious: this is at the high end of the 1-2% range, and given that the national number is 50%, it means that there are plenty of states on the right edge of the bell curve where the number is 60% or higher. The bad news, such as it is, is that breakthrough progress probably won’t come until about two-thirds of the country is on board with same-sex marriage. That’s most likely still a decade away. There’s a lot more work to be done.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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