Is Legal Same-Sex Marriage Inevitable?

| Polling guru Nate Silver has built a regression model, based on demographic and political trends, to forecast when a majority of the voting public in each of the 50 states might vote against a gay-marriage ban, or vote to repeal an existing one. His findings: by 2016, most states will have legalized gay marriage, with Mississippi alone holding on until 2024. His analysis is loaded with caveats but, in light of the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling against the state’s gay-marriage ban, raises an interesting question: is legal same-sex marriage inevitable? [%comments]

George Brabazon

I do not think Nate was claiming that it would be legalized by 2016, only that a majority of voters in those states would support it in a polling question in 2016.

A small, but significant difference.


Most important thing he points out is that young people are overwhelmingly for it, and old people are overwhelmingly against it. This does not always mean the liberals have a lock on the future, since a lot of people revert to the parents views once they themselves become married and have kids; however, it's a pretty significant trend.


I think sometime before that at least one state will get out of legalizing the marriage business. The state will stop issuing marriage licenses and will only issue monogamous civil union licenses. The individuals then have to find a church that would marry them.


I'd say it is inevitable, because A) it seems to have momentum, B) builds on existing social changes, C) when the world economy is falling apart stopping two guys from getting married is less of a worry.

I'd go as far to say that someday, someone will do a thesis on C).


"when the world economy is falling apart stopping two guys from getting married is less of a worry."

Same goes for gals.


Hmmm, let me look outside to see if the sky has fallen yet in Canada.


It's inevitable.


Even young folks opposed just don't care that much. They fall into the yeah-I'm-opposed-but-I-won't-put-up-a-fight-if-two-dudes-wanna-make-out category of politics.


Let's hope it is inevitable. This discrimination is an embarrassment to the country, just like slavery and segregation.


why are gays intent on getting married? The answer is, they are not. In places where gay marriage has been available for years, Gays don't get married. Toronto has had gay marriage for years, and through 2008 only one gay couple has been married. Last year, only 107 gay marriages have been performed.

Gays, in fact do not want to get married. Very few of them actually do, in places where gay marriage has been legal for some time. Gays are notoriously promiscuous, and promiscuity is incompatible with the traditional notions of marriage. Rather, as Stanley Kurtz has argued in National Review Online, Gays wish to use cultural arguments (mostly through television and movies) and legal ones to collapse traditional culture and specifically, the nuclear family. Which is viewed quite naturally as the enemy of gay culture (it is).

Classical Greece honored, or even revered, homosexual love above that between men and women, yet it had absolutely no inclination to establish same sex marrage. Indeed Plato discussed this issue at some length, making the observation that marriage was a sacred bond that was intended to preserve the culture. It can hardly be said of the Greeks that they eschewed same sex marriage out of some prejudice against homosexuals. So what was their reasoning?

Marriage is about child raising... and passing on values and capacities to new "human starts" (as R.B. Fuller called them). The notion of same-sex marriage would have simply seemed silly to the Greeks. What would be the point?


David Baker

One thing I think he has wrong is his analysis of Utah. I don't think that Silver took into account that the prevalence of Mormons in Utah is a stronger holdout than the evangelicals of Mississippi. This is not to say that I hope that I am wrong and that his stats are right. Being a Gay Mormon in Utah, I sure hope that I am wrong.


"I do not think Nate was claiming that it would be legalized by 2016, only that a majority of voters in those states would support it in a polling question in 2016."

Someone cannot read. It says by 2016. Do not try to interpret what you think the reader should have meant, by what he did mean.


I'm totally for this, however, whatever happened to church and state separation? Hopefully we'll progress even past marriage to something not based on a bartering off of daughters and land.

But year projection on that....? Incalculable.

With gay jokes still mainstream and gay bashings still not covered by the media, I'd hardly say that any age group "just don't care that much".


I don't think a country that votes on basis of whether or not the things written in a Book are words of God or not could go anywhere in long term.. and I don't think this country (US) has that trend overall... so I believe it's inevitable after all...

Jennifer mitchell

Let's all hope so.



the Gooch

Marriage is devoid of any meaning to most people. so they feel fine allowing others to put whatever meaning in it they so choose.

c. perry

I certainly hope this whole discussion is soon over. Having been married to one woman for over fifty years, I fail to see what two other people of any sex have to do with our marriage. Is there something here I am not seeing? Why not let it alone. Marriage is a civil, not a religeous act unless a religeous ceremony is desired. Certainly members of a church can keep gays out of their church but not out of city hall.


Definitely inevitable unless the government totally divests itself from marriage.


This is something that should decided by the people via thier legislators, and not by a court ruling. Of course if a federal consitutional admendment on the defination of marriage, it is all over.



You aren't the first to suggest that a "state will stop issuing marriage licenses and will only issue monogamous civil union licenses". And I'm sure you won't be the last. But those of you who come to this ridiculous conclusion strike me as the same out-of-touch idealists who thought we could just imagine no possessions and then there'd be world peace.

The inevitable equilibrium will be equal marriage rights for all. Once it becomes law in any one place - it ceases to be an issue there within a fairly quick pace. (albeit not quickly enough in California) It just takes too much energy to be a bigot for most people.

The reason is that people are far more interested in their own relationships than other people's (although you might not know it by some of the vitriol we hear). Everyone wants the right to have their own relationship ratified by civil law as a "marriage".

Even the SCOTUS will probably soon agree that rules for things like "married filing jointly" tax status and citizenship rights for spouses will have to apply evenhandedly nationwide and thus extend marraige rights to everyone. This might be called judicial activism, but it would really just be judicial pragmatism.