A Gay Relations Acceptance Trend

A bit of news slipped by a couple of weeks ago that was pretty much ignored by the public. I happened to catch it in The New York Times and thought it would be huge. I was wrong.

But it is relevant to us here in Hawaii. We stand on the threshold of an opportunity to give gays and lesbians a civil unions option that has been denied to them in our Aloha State. That’s why I’m bringing this to your attention.

According to the latest Gallup poll, “Americans’ support for the moral acceptability of gay and lesbian relations crossed the symbolic 50 percent threshold in 2010. At the same time, the percentage calling these relations ‘morally wrong’ dropped to 43 percent, the lowest in Gallup’s decade-long trend.”

This is big.

Let me say it again: This is BIG. This says to me that many Americans are realizing that sexual orientation – gay, straight and everything in between – is a fact of life, a trait we are born with, like eye color, and not a scary moral deviation.

Another interesting tidbit from the Gallup poll, “the change is seen almost exclusively among men, and particularly men younger than 50.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean men are more evolved than women; it rather suggests to me that women have been more accepting and less judgmental about homosexuality in general. Understand that I’m just stating an opinion.

Gallup goes on to show “greater movement toward acceptance among independents and Democrats than among Republicans, and a big jump in acceptance among moderates. Liberals were already widely accepting of gay relations in 2006, and have remained that way, while conservatives’acceptance continues to run low.”

What this means is that I may in the future be seeing more e-mails like this one: “Thank you for writing such a powerful column this week regarding the potential legalization of same-sex civil unions. So many are against it for, like you mentioned, they fear it

will lead to legalized marriage … You helped make a difference for those who constantly feel substandard by the majority. That’s powerful stuff.”

And fewer like this: “I’m disappointed about your position on civil union. I thought you were a person of God. I’ve done as my Pastor said, I don’t discriminate against same sex people. Many are friends, but I know it is wrong. However, my fear is that my tolerance may be misunderstood as acceptance …” (Emphasis is mine)

Don’t fear, ma’am, I could never mistake your “tolerance” with acceptance, especially since you go on to equate gay sexuality with pedophilia, child abuse and bestiality. I wonder if the gay people you say are your friends know your true feelings about them.

I have said it in this column before: Attitudes are changing. It will be the young who will finally break the prejudice.

Happily, it appears I was right.

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