With many controversies on the topic, American attitudes toward same-sex marriage in the twenty-first century have been more nuanced and controversial. For some years, same-sex marriage has been a contentious issue in America, with some people endorsing it and some against it. In reality, the explosion of gay and lesbian society in America in the twenty-first century has pushed the topic of same-sex relationships to the forefront of national debate in recent years. Same sex marriage is currently illegal in several countries as there is so much uproar about the issue and very legal in several states in the United States. Currently, there have been a number of concerns about allowing sex marriage in America because of the ethical problems associated with it. However, despite the several debates, opposition, and reactions, some American states have gone ahead legalizing same-sex marriages arguing that they are marriages just like any other heterosexual marriages while those opposing the move argue that same-sex marriages would morally hurt the society and should not be legalized. Nonetheless, despite the opposition and support for same sex marriages, the American attitudes towards same-sex marriages in the 21st century have evolved and changed tremendously over the years with a large group now supporting these marriages.
The shift on the American attitude towards same-sex marriage over the past years is among the major shifts in view on any policy issue over this period. Several Americans were against same-sex marriages but today, many have shifted their opinions thus the rise in support for these marriages. Lee and Mutz note that the rise in support is mostly attributed to the millennial generation and large regiments of young adults who are now open about their sexuality than the previous generations (2018). Many people have changed their minds/opinions in favor of same sex marriages because today, many gay and lesbian American couples are open about their sexual orientation compared to the earlier generations making the issue more open to the public like never before. In the previous years, most Americans were opposed to same-sex couples getting married legally but today it is happening, many same sex couples are legally getting married without any problems. The openness on the issue has caused the shift because now people understand that lesbians and gay couples do exist in reality and they deserve to be happy just like heterosexual couples. In fact, today, most Americans now even accept same-sex married couples as parents because they are now legally allowed to get married and adopt children. Therefore, the changing of American attitudes towards same-sex marriages in the 21st century has increased the rise in support for same sex marriages.
The public opinion on same-sex marriage in America has shifted rapidly with a big number of Americans supporting same sex marriages. Initially, several Americans opposed same-sex marriages by a great margin, but today, its support has steadily grown. In fact, according to The Economist “In America, support for same-sex marriage has shot up from 27% to 64% since 1996—faster than the rise in acceptance of interracial marriage beginning in the late 1960s” (2017). Gay or rather same-sex marriages have been legalized with a majority of Americans now supporting it. In addition, today, even the many groups that were skeptical about same-sex marriages nationwide are now supporting them after the Supreme Court decision that required all American states to reorganize the same-sex marriages laws worldwide.
The American attitudes towards same-sex marriages have steadily changed due to generational change. Many youngsters today have expressed their interest in same-sex marriages thus their increasing support on the topic. Today, many states in American are allowing lesbians and gays to legally get married because of the increasing support from the young generation. According to McCarthy, Americans have changed their minds and attitudes on the legality of same-sex marriages making several opponents on the issue to rethink about their previous position on the topic of same-sex marriage (2018). The youth’s attitude towards same-sex marriages has continued to grow more than ever making many people agree that same sex couples should not be denied the right to get married just like heterosexual couples.
The attitudes towards same-sex marriages have shifted dramatically with research showing support from partisan and demographic groups (including the African Americans, the baby boomers, Republicans, and the Younger White Evangelicals) that had broadly opposed the issue. Today, same-sex marriages have received support from Democrats, Independents, Liberals, moderates, and a small share of the Republicans and Conservatives in recent years. The support for same-sex marriages has reached new high from both men and women in recent years. With about 67 percent of American citizens expressing their support for same sex marriages, it is clear that the American attitudes towards same-sex marriages have changed. According to a report by USA TODAY in May 2018, “With 67% of Americans expressing their approval, it marks the highest level of support that the research firm has recorded in the more than 20 years it has been querying Americans on the issue” (Madhani, 2018). According to this Gallup poll report, “latest poll, 83% of respondents who identified as Democrats said they support legal recognition of same-sex marriage, while 44% of Republican respondents and 71% of independents expressed support” (Madhani, 2018). This means that in the 21st century, the American attitudes towards same-sex marriages have changed because of the increased acceptance of this kind of marriage. Many Americans who were against same sex marriages are now supporting its legal recognition.
Today, several Americans have come to agree that stopping the legalization of same-sex marriage is violating the people’s civil rights and denying them their constitutional right to equality. Every American has a civil right to marry whomever they wish to marry be it of the same sex or of the opposite sex. Therefore, for this reason, no ethical society should try to violate any American citizen’s civil rights because marriages hold a legal civil status and no one has a right to violate a person’s civil rights allowed in the society. In fact, opponents strongly argued that same-sex marriages are unethical and most traditional marriages are presented as natural between heterosexual couples. Initially, most Americans believed that same-sex marriages were unethical and should not be allowed, nonetheless, today, a big percentage of Americans have changed their attitudes on the topic over time and are now supporting same-sex marriages.
Additionally, today, such attitudes have been shifted and people now believe that it is unethical to control people on what gender they should get married to or marry (Lee & Mutz, 2018). Every American citizen now has a right to pursue his/her happiness in marriage regardless of his or her sexual orientation by being allowed to marry whether gay, lesbian, or heterosexual. The public opinion on the issue has shifted with the opposition on same-sex marriages falling while the support increasing day by day. The national support for same-sex marriages has risen since the year 2011 and since then, the mark has not gone down as the support continues to rise each year.
It was argued that attitudes towards same-sex marriages are deeply entrenched and any attempt to alter them could be pointless at all times. However, in America, it is evident that attitudes towards same-sex marriages are adjustable because many Americans have changed their attitude towards same-sex marriages by accepting its legalization (Sherkat, 2017). While public debates on not accepting same-sex marriages have been carried out by ideological and moral warriors who aim to deride and defeat their opponent rather than to persuade their audience why they are against the same-sex marriages, the American attitude towards the same-sex marriages have changed/shifted rapidly in the 21st century. Now, in America, there is a rise in the support for same-sex marriages like never before.
In conclusion, the American attitude toward same-sex marriages in America has quickly changed/shifted in the 21st century. In the past years, there have been several debates on the topic of same-sex marriages with some people supporting it while others opposing it basing their arguments on morality. However, despite the many debates, it is apparent that Americans have changed their attitude on the issue with a rise in the number of Americans supporting same-sex marriages. In essence, over the years, American’s attitudes towards same-sex marriages have shifted dramatically as its support has grown rapidly.
Lee, H. Y., & Mutz, D. C. (2018). Changing Attitudes toward Same-Sex Marriage: A ThreeWave Panel Study. Political Behavior, 1-22.
Madhani, A. (2018). Poll: Approval of Same Sex Marriage in U.S. Reaches New High. USATODAY. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/05/23/samesex-marriage-poll-americans/638587002/
McCarthy, J. (2018). Two in Three Americans Support Same Sex Marriage in 2018. Retrievedfrom https://news.gallup.com/poll/234866/two-three-americans-support-sexmarriage.aspx
Sherkat, D. E. (2017). Intersecting Identities and Support for Same-sex Marriage in the UnitedStates. Social Currents, 4(4), 380-400.
The Economist. (2017). Attitudes to Same Se Relationships around the World. The Economist.Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2017/11/02/attitudes-to-samesex-relationships-around-the-world