This has been an unexpectedly dramatic year for same-sex marriage, and this past week is no exception. Not only did North Carolina voters handily pass a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage this week but President Barack Obama also publicly announced his support north carolina same sex marriage legalized same-sex marriage. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of commentary and outrage over the passage of yet another constitutional amendment in North Carolina.
29 other states have passed similar constitutional amendments at the ballot since 1998, and 19 of those prohibited both same-sex marriage and broader relationship recognitions for same-sex couples. What is new is the surprise and outrage. Much attention was paid to California Proposition 8 and Maine Question 1, which were both votes on legalized same-sex marriage. However, there has not been a vote on one of these same-sex marriage bans since 2008. Before 2004 and the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, when same-sex marriage bans passed in states like Alaska, Nebraska and Nevada, there was little large-scale public outrage. As more states legalize same-sex marriage and American adults increasingly support it, there is a growing sense that the tide has turned. Between 2008 and 2012, the number of states that recognize or allow same-sex marriages tripled.
Indeed, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, excluding Maryland and Washington state, seven states have same-sex marriage benefits and an additional three states recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Obama just became the first sitting president to publicly support same-sex marriage. Former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Vice President Al Gore have all come forward to support same-sex marriage after their terms ended. It is unclear, however, how much people’s opinions will change due to presidential opinion.
Opinions about same-sex marriage can be deep-seated, connected to larger belief systems about family and gender, and thus difficult to change. Stone crafts a compelling, deeply textured portrayal of the more than 200 anti-gay ballot campaigns in the U. Through interviews with movement leaders and other sources, Stone deftly analyzes the tension between winning campaigns and building a sustainable movement, between national, urban activists and local, rural communities, as well as debates over tactics and messaging. Thanks for stopping by the University of Minnesota Press blog. Planning a summer or Memorial Day weekend trip? This article originally appeared in May 2012.
On Tuesday, North Carolina voted to amend their constitution making gay marriage illegal. In response, on Wednesday President Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage. It will probably be a long time before anything is decided here. But eleven other countries have already legalized gay marriage.