The Course of Reason

Gay Marriage Continues Its Streak

May 23, 2014

Pennsylvania has recently become the 18th state to pass marriage equality.  It has been almost exactly ten years since gay marriage has first passed in the state of Massachusetts.  Gay marriage in Pennsylvania marks the 14th consecutive victory for gay marriage.  Progress started out slowly, where Massachusetts was the only state to pass gay marriage for five years. 

Starting in around 2006,  there has been an exponential increase in the amount of states that have passed gay marriage.  2013 was a breakthrough year, with nine states passing gay marriage legislation. The gay marriage movement has spread exponentially, and is one of the most quickly growing movement in U.S. history.  In just the past few years, for the first time in U.S. history, the majority of the country is in favor of gay marriage.  In 2003, 58% of the country opposed gay marriage, with 33% in favor. Ten years later, 49% in favor of marriage equality with 44% opposing.  There has been a drastic shift in demographics as well, with Arkansas being the first southern state to overturn the ban on gay marriage.  Even in Texas, gay marriage was struck down, and is currently awaiting appeal.

In addition, there has been great progress for religious conservatives when it comes to the legalization of gay marriage.  Many famous politicians have ‘come out’ in favor of gay marriage, whether it be Senator Rob Portman, Dick Cheney, Barbara Bush, and Senator Mark Mirk of Illinois.  Former advisor to Reagan and George W. Bush, Ted Olson, fought in favor of gay marriage in the controversial proposition 8 case in California.  We still have a long way to go however, with just over a third of the states legalizing gay marriage.  It was in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “the arch of history may be long but it bends towards justice.” 



About the Author: Benjamin Cook

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Benjamin Cook is a student at American University, an officer for the American University Humanist Community, and a former CFI Outreach intern. He is fascinated with science, and is a strong advocate of using reason and skepticism when examining the world.




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