Attitudes Towards Same Sex Marriage Essay

2415 words - 10 pages

Over the course of the last several decades, attitudes in the U.S. about same-sex marriage have been shifting from conservative to more liberal. Many factors such as change in attitude of older generations, as well as wider acceptance among younger generations, have contributed to this shift in outlook. But even with the support the gay and lesbian community has been gaining, many still oppose same-sex marriage and rights’, and most states still ban the legalization of it. Even with all the opposition though, within the next thirty years, acceptance of same-sex marriage will continue to grow resulting in changes in law that allow for same-sex marriage in most states.
Even though same-sex marriage is illegal in most states, the trend in attitudes among Americans has been dramatically rising over the course of the last three decades. Study after study is consistently showing an increase in tolerance towards same-sex marriage proving that American’s attitudes have been liberalized over time. Studies show that in 1988, 71% of Americans were against the idea of a man marrying another man and a woman marrying another woman, but that number decreased to 52% by 2006 (Baunach, 2011, p. 347 ). Another survey, conducted by the NORC at the University of Chicago concurred, showing that support for same-sex marriage increased dramatically over the course of ten years; in 1988 same-sex marriage received support by only 11% of respondents but this number jumped to 46% by 2010 (Madrid & Rice, 2013, p. 45). Currently, in 2012, Gallup polls indicated that half of Americans believe that not only should same-sex marriage be legalized, but they should also receive the same benefits as, and receive the same level of recognition as traditional marriages (Madrid & Rice, 2013, p. 45). Clearly, more and more Americans are starting to support gay and lesbian marriages. If this upward trend continues the way it has thus far, the majority of Americans will soon be supporting same-sex marriage well before this decade is over.
So why have recent generations been recently experiencing a change in attitude toward the issue? Experts believe both current younger, as well as older generations, have both been transforming from a more conservative mindset to a more liberalized mindset due to exposure to gay and lesbians and various cultural events that have been brought to light in recent decades (Madrid & Rice, 2013, p. 46; Baunach, 2011, p. 350).
Older generations, who had not previously had much contact or knowledge of homosexuals in the past, have now become more comfortable with them because of the exposure gays and lesbians have in modern society. More and more gays and lesbians have become open about their homosexuality to the general public in recent decades, giving heterosexuals more exposure to homosexuality that they previously might not have been exposed to. This exposure could have lead them to dispel any myths, preconceived notions or even unwarranted...

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