As politicians battle about current gay rights topics, the issues are also controversial among voters, who are split on marriage equality and other gay rights issues. Most people acknowledge that the fight against gay rights will be short-lived. Soon, as younger generations become old enough to vote and hold political office, gay rights will be a non-issue.
But is this true, or is it merely speculation? Will most people support gay marriage in five years? Ten years? Twenty?
At the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, statistician Hank Pellissier has been researching this very question. In a study he conducted on public support for gay marriage in Arizona, he found that supporters of marriage equality will be in the majority by 2015.
Pellissier’s statistical results show that the buzz about the future of gay rights is true — public opinion is shifting in favor of allowing gay marriage. Pellissier’s report shows that in most states, support for gay marriages increases by about one percent of the electorate per year.
Predictions show that some states, such as Oregon, New York, and Delaware, will have majority support for gay marriage by 2012, while others won’t have majority support for more than 20 years. He expects that Mississippi won’t have majority support for gay marriage until 2035.
Pellissier explained that resistance to marriage equality mainly comes from religious people, especially Mormons, conservative Catholics, and evangelical fundamentalists. But as their children become old enough to vote, public opinion will change.
And public opinion on gay marriage is indeed changing. And for some more good news, other statisticians predict the change to come even sooner.
We can’t know for sure when support for marriage equality will be the majority opinion, but statistics show that it’s the direction we’re headed.
Photo credit: Kelly Huston