Southern Religion

Gay marriage/divorce balance shifting legally, at church & in public opinion [Update]


Texans overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in 2005 bolstering the state’s ban on same sex marriage and on Oct. 1 Dallas district Judge Tena Callahan ruled the ban unconstitutional.

Her ruling may be overturned, but remember that until 2003, Texas law forbade sex between consenting adults of the same gender. That law was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence et al. v. Texas at a time when only a minority of the U.S. public supported such laws.

Same-sex marriage apparently does not yet have majority support in the U.S., but the ground is shifting.

That is in part because some of the arguments against it are strained. But it is also a generational shift. A majority of younger voters support it and their attitudes appear to be fixed.

The theological right rages, but in part because the young are the future, church policies have been evolving toward acceptance. Church by church and denomination by denomination by denomination … .


Analyst Nate Silver wrote recently:

Public opinion is moving toward acceptance of gay marriage. But it is doing so very slowly, at a rate of perhaps a point or two per year, and has at least a few years to go before it is the majority opinion. In the near term, the more relevant dimension may be ‘passion’, or depth of feeling. It used to be that the conservatives were ahead on passion — they were strongly opposed to gay marriage, whereas liberals were, at best, lukewarmly in favor of it. Increasingly, that dynamic seems to be reversing.

Saturday he concluded:

… it would seem that the grassroots energy on this issue has reversed, with the pro-gay marriage side feeling more emboldened than the traditional marriage groups. This is true both outside the state of Maine and within it.


October 26, 2009 - Posted by | Churches, Law, Religion, SBC

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