Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson posted an op-ed in The Hill blog Wednesday pointing out how the landscape has changed in favor of marriage equality. Wolfson noted that during last week's congressional hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), Senators who voted for DOMA 15 years ago now strongly favor its repeal.
Wolfson wrote: "That change of heart on Capitol Hill is reflective of the journey the majority of Americans have made as minds have changed and hearts have opened. Fifteen years ago, only 27 percent of Americans approved of ending discrimination in marriage. Today, six national polls confirm that support has doubled to 53%, a national majority in favor of the freedom to marry."
Wolfson also noted a new bi-partisan poll analysis from Republican Jan van Lohuizen, President George W. Bush's former pollster, and Democrat Joel Benenson, President Obama's pollster. In "Rapid Increase in Support for Marriage Changes Political Equation: Emerging Majority Supports the Freedom to Marry," the pollsters "challenge the conventional Washington wisdom on marriage." Wolfson writes:
"Those who would now try to tout their anti-gay opposition to motivate narrow segments of voters will find that group of voters dwindling--and will quickly learn that anti-gay politics may turn off a vast voter pool on the other side that rejects division and discrimination. According to polling by the Washington Post, "strong" opposition to the freedom to marry dropped 13 points since 2004--and "strong" support in favor has risen 12 points. Whereas just a few years ago the opposition to the freedom to marry had greater intensity, now the numbers of those who support the freedom to marry outnumber those who strongly oppose it.
One of the major drivers of this momentum shift is a generational tidal wave. Almost 70 percent of those under 40 support the freedom to marry. Every day, as more and more young people come of age and enter the voting population, support will only increase."
View the full report here.
(Cross-posted at LGBTPOV)