Maryland’s marriage rights bottleneck

Last year I wrote that Black Christian leaders in Prince George’s County, Maryland, were the political force that blocked the state’s marriage-rights legislation from passing. According to the Washington Post, despite the “state’s reputation as one of the nation’s most liberal states,” the percentage of people here who support gay and lesbian (homogamous) marriage rights is about the same as the national average. That’s because of a large population of Christian African Americans who oppose the law, it appears.

Here is the breakdown of the Post‘s latest poll:

Among Democrats, the gay/lesbian marriage divide has got to be one of the sharpest between Blacks (41% support) and Whites (71% support). Evidence from the General Social Survey (reported here) attributes the race difference to the denominational and religiosity differences between Blacks and Whites. (Of course, 41% Black support is not negligible.)

Those on the wrong side of history appear to be swimming against an insurmountable demographic tide (or whatever). Barring a dramatic turn of events, all the evidence points toward popular support for marriage rights becoming a solid majority in the next few years. That shows in the trend over time, as well as the age split, in the Post poll. Sooner or later, I think, either the churches will decide to change or the population will swim out from under them, dunking them in the drink of political history.

2 Comments

Filed under In the news

2 responses to “Maryland’s marriage rights bottleneck

  1. “Sooner or later, I think, either the churches will decide to change or the population will swim out from under them, dunking them in the drink of political history.”

    This assumes that gay marriage is a trigger issue. I wonder if it isn’t more like pro-environmental attitudes: people may agree in principle, but when push comes to shove (e.g., a pro-environment or pro-gay marriage belief comes in conflict with other values or behaviors) or other issues vie for attention, support fades.

    So, religious young people may be in favor of gay marriage in the abstract, but it isn’t sufficiently important or salient that their church’s opposition to gay marriage will spark a mass (ha ha!) exodus. (I’m thinking primarily of hetero young people: presumably, gay marriage is more likely to be a trigger issue for gays and lesbians.)

    Like

  2. Pingback: National Organization for Marriage: delusional and hateful? « Family Inequality

Comments welcome (may be moderated)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s