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]

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.



View All Comments »
  1. Brad Hicks says:

    Similar polls were done in the early 1970s, and based on similar math, predicted that marijuana would be legal in almost every state by the early 1990s, a comparison Silver himself acknowledges. History seldom moves in straight lines.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. Brian H says:

    “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.”

    Not exactly. He says in his article that “[b]y 2016, only a handful of states in the Deep South would vote to ban gay marriage, with Mississippi being the last one to come around in 2024.” He’s only saying the his model says that those states would still vote to ban gay marriage and that the others wouldn’t. Not voting to ban gay marriage is different from voting to legalize it.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. Eric says:

    @ #6:


    The argument that the sky hasn’t fallen in Canada or Massachusetts or any other place that gay marriage is a reality is disingenuous. It’s like claiming two weeks after asbestos is introduced to the market that it is clearly and conclusively harmless since no one has yet died from asbestos. The results of social change cannot be measured in a week or a month or a year, or even a decade. Changes as sweeping as these have their effect over generations.

    a_c (#9 above) asserts, I think correctly, that the gay agenda is actually an anti-family agenda. But a weakening of the family is a weakening of society. Consider the effect of being raised by a single parent on crime, education, teenage pregnancy, drug use, and a host of other ills (enter “fatherless crime” in Google Scholar for a sobering collection of research). At the time these families were falling apart (or failing to form) there would have been no evidence of the eventual negative results.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. Dan says:

    @ #19:

    If you let the majority decide to discriminate against a minority, then you’ve missed the point of America. The Constitution is designed to protect minorities from the majority. So it is exactly the courts who should be deciding this issue.

    That said, I think it is important for gay marriage activists to keep in mind that if the majority disagrees with you, maybe you need to try a different argument.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. Woesinger says:

    a_c at #9:

    While many gay people may choose not to get married, why shouldn’t they have the option to if they do choose to?

    Marriage is about child raising…

    So heterosexual couples that cannot or do not want to have children should get divorced? And I assume you don’t think that gay people should be allowed to raise children (adopted or their own)?

    The point is that civil marriage gives the participants many legal protections that single people do not enjoy. Why would you deny that legal protection to couples just because they happen to be of the same sex?

    Your statement about the alleged Vast Gay Conspiracy to collapse the nuclear family is plainly paranoid. If you feel the nuclear family is under threat – I’d direct you to the serial marriages and divorces of many conservative politicians before you start blaming gays. Not exactly leading by example, are they?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. jeff b. says:

    If you think inter-racial marriage was inevitable (which I think most would), then gay marriage is, too. I’ve read just a bit about it, and it’s amazing how closely the gay marriage debate is following the inter-racial marriage debate of it’s time. The same arguments against both (including the inability to procreate sometimes – believe it or not), the same states (generally) outlawing it (mostly southern) and allowing it (mass), etc. Finally, the “activist judges” of the supreme court allowed inter-racial marriage, and that will certainly happen again with gay marriage.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. Steve says:

    it’s interesting to note that every same sex marraige decision came from the courts, not from majority vote. evey time the measure has been on the ballot, the will of the people has been in favor of one man and one woman.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. AaronS says:

    I am angry about it.

    I want my gay friends and loved ones to enjoy the full benefits of partnership, but I detest having my “tolerance” questioned because I think that marriage means a union between a man and a woman.

    I’m thinking that, next, our black brothers and sisters can redefine “white” so that they can escape the racism that hatefully lingers for American blacks.

    And our Muslim friends can redefine “Islam” so that it really means “Christian,” as this will allow them to practice their religion with less suspicion.

    Very simply, you don’t get to REDEFINE a word just because you like what it entails. I don’t get to redefine “Handicapped” so that I get to park up close to the supermarket. I don’t get to redefine “Professor” so that I can claim to be a “Professor.”

    In my opinion, gays already took one of our words–“gay”–and changed it from meaning the bright, happy, playful, joyous feeling of experiencing life to…well, I guess there is an element of “bright, happy, and playful” in it even now–ha! But you get the idea. Seriously.

    Equal rights for all. But no more 1984. War is Peace. Up is Down.

    Of course, if this post sees the light of day, I’ll be surprised, since it conflicts with the NYT predetermined way in which we will all go.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0