THE BLOG
03/27/2013 12:59 pm ET Updated May 27, 2013

In the Future, People Will Wonder What the Fuss Was All About

While the U.S. Supreme Court may hold the line on most of the country, while likely allowing the invalidation of California's Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage initiative, it is clear that the right to same-sex marriage will be part of America's future.

In the future, I'm sure people will wonder what the fuss was all about. The personal squeamishness, cultural inhibitions, and religious strictures that have blocked what is, after all, simply acceptance of a different kind of partnership will seem very quaint.

We already see this coming in present day polling, in which younger people overwhelmingly back the right, including a whopping 73 percent of those under 30 in the latest CBS News poll.

Overall, 53 percent favor the right to same-sex marriage, with only 39 percent opposed. Less than a year ago, 51 percent were opposed.

So while the support of younger people makes same-sex marriage inevitable in America, a lot of other people are also changing their minds. A stunning one-third of those who now favor the right to same-sex marriage say they used to be opponents.

What changed their minds? Mostly, it seems, the realization that they actually know people who are gay or lesbian. Shocking. Positively shocking.

While most Democrats and independents are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, partisans of the Republican Party continue to be the mainstays of the opposition. Support has shot up over the past year among Republicans, from 13 percent to 37 percent, but there may be a ceiling there.

A Gallup Poll last June -- with an amazing 46 percent of Americans, mostly Republicans, believing in creationism -- brought home just how far away from its Revolutionary roots in the evolving rationalism and egalitarianism of Enlightenment thinking much of the country has become.

People who believe in a doctrine that denies the science of evolution and holds that human beings in our present form were created by God within the past 10,000 years -- a view which has people and dinosaurs existing together in a cartoonish view of reality -- seem less likely to be embracing same-sex marriage.

If things play out as at least some experts on the Supreme Court, of which I am decidedly not one, think, it seems unlikely that there is a majority to reverse the federal court of appeals ruling that Proposition 8 is invalid. That would reinstate the right to same-sex marriage found by the Republican majority California Supreme Court in 2008.

Which makes the shift in public opinion in California all the more relevant.

Prop 8 passed relatively narrowly in 2008, with 52 percent of the vote. It could have been defeated, but that's another story.

At the end of February, the Field Poll showed that 61 percent of California voters now approve the right to same-sex marriage, with only 32 percent opposed.

That two-to-one ratio is a complete 180 degree flip from the results in 1977, when Field first polled on same-sex marriage.

One can only imagine what the numbers will be in 2049, 36 years from now. Actually, I suspect no one would bother to take such a poll in 2049.

It would be like polling on inter-racial marriage today. Which is to say of a certain sociological interest, but not relevant to contemporary political debate.

You can check things during the day on my site, New West Notes ... www.newwestnotes.com.

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