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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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