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IEET > Rights > Personhood > PostGender > ReproRights > Vision > Futurism > Technoprogressivism > Contributors > Hank Pellissier

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#14: State-by-State Gay Marriage Acceptance


Hank Pellissier
Hank Pellissier
Ethical Technology

Posted: Dec 18, 2010

How is gay marriage in America proceeding down the aisle? This question concerns all transhumanists because persecution of homosexuality is an anti-Enlightenment human rights violation that is rooted in archaic religious superstition and anti-scientific thought. Actively supporting gay marriage is the ethically responsible position for all progressive transhumanists.



#14
According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2010? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 31 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 600 in all), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on September 14, 2010,  and is the #14 most viewed of the year.



image1Surprisingly, the grandest advance in homosexual matrimony in the last 60 days is not the California judicial dithering over Proposition 8.  No.  Peer south of the border, amigos, and you’ll see not Uno, but Dos Hispanic nations that have embraced same-sex marriage.

First, the Senate of Argentina ratified gay marriage by a vote 33-27 on July 15.  The proposal was spearheaded by President Cristina Fernandez and her husband, ex-President Nestor Kirchner, and opposed (predictably) by the Catholic Church, who condemned it as “a move by the father of lies [Satan] to confuse and deceive the children of God.” Buenos Aires already had civil unions; so did the village of Ushaia in Tierra del Fuego. The new law’s opponents are mounting only feeble resistance as the gauchos gallop towards a secular society, motivated by godfather Spain’s similar legislation in 2005.

I promised two miracles, so prepare for a shock if your virgin ears have not heard the news. On August 11, gay marriage was essentially ratified in… Mexico.  Blink again, and believe it.  The nation that exported machismo is swishing towards the altar.  Okay, right, Frieda Kahlo was openly bisexual, but… where’d this come from? 

Distrito Federal. Gay marriage was initiallly legalized in Mexico City by its progressive mayor Marcelo Ebrard (who is expected to run for El Presidente in 2012) and five months later the Supreme Court announced that Mexico City gay weddings must be recognized by all 31 Mexican states.  The Catholic Church (redundantly) had a hissy-fit, shrilling that the measure’s enactment was more horrible for Mexicans than the current drug war (25,000 dead and counting). 
image2
The United States is now in the embarrassing position of being surrounded by two large nations - Mexico and Canada - that have more progressive gay rights than the red-white-and-blue citizenry.  This hypocritical stance for a populace that identifies itself with personal freedom will sharply intensify when additional Latin American nations ratify same-sex marriage: I predict this will happen in four more nations in the next four years: Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, and… BRAZIL - the samba queen herself, emerging superpower, “Kiss of the Spider Woman” country.

Is the USA future equally gay?  Indeed. Popular opinion is shifting inexorably towards an accepting view of same-sex marriage; everyone knows this, even Republicans.  Recent GOP heavyweights who have declared that gay marriage is either valid, or not worth fighting about, include Laura Bush, Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Cindy and Meghan McCain.  Many Libertarian and “Tea Party” members are equally supportive of gay marriage, or at least indifferent.  So… who’s resisting? 

Religious folks.  Mormons, conservative Catholics, evangelical fundamentalists.  But they’re slowly getting outnumbered by their own voting children: a New York Times/CBS News poll revealed that 57% of the populace under 40 years old is supportive of gay marriage.

How fast are we changing?  My calculation is this: every year, gay marriage proponents gain an additional 1% of the electorate.  This is evidenced in California numbers: in March 2000, Proposition 22 wanted to amend the Family Code to say “only marriage between a man and a woman” would be recognized in the state. image3 The measure passed, 61.4% to 38.6%.  In November 2008, Proposition 8 also rejected gay marriage, but in a much closer election, 52.24% to 47.76%.  Elementary math reveals that gay marriage gained 9.16% more supporters in just 8.5 years.

Below I have calculated when same-sex weddings will achieve majority support throughout the land of liberty.  For 30 states, I’ve done this by adding 1% per year to the percentage that voted against a gay marriage ban, until the total reached 50.1%.  In the remaining states, I used either polling figures (that I often regard skeptically), and/or I calculate an acceptance date based on the behavior of neighboring states with a similar demographic.  If a state finds itself surrounded by either gay-marriage states (or nations), or by anti-gay marriage states, I accelerate or delay the process by two to four years, and I hurried slacker Mississippi along, alone in the end, with a five year nudge.  Justification for this equation is evident in New England, which adopted gay marriage in a daisy-chain fashion, and also in California, which was deeply impacted by Utah Mormons in Prop 8. 

My results are different than those arrived at by statistician Nate Silver of the New York TimesHis figures, I believe, are erroneous because he over-estimates the slide towards gay-friendliness at 2% annually, twice my prognosis.  Data explaining my analysis is referenced at the end.  If you disagree with me, let me know. Did I position your home-state correctly? I welcome all critiques and suggestions.

2004  Massachusetts
2008  Connecticut
2009  Vermont
          Iowa
2010  New Hampshire
          Washington D.C.
2011  New Jersey
2012  Oregon
          California
          Maine
          New York
          Delaware
          Washington
          South Dakota
2013  Maryland
          Colorado
2014  Michigan
          Virginia
          Rhode Island
          Wisconsin
          New Mexico
2015  Arizona
          Alaska
2016  Ohio
          Pennsylvania
          Illinois
2017  Hawaii
          Minnesota
2019  Nevada
          Indiana
2020  Idaho
          Wyoming
          Montana
          Florida
          Nebraska
2021  Utah
2024  North Dakota
          Missouri
2025  Kansas
2028  Texas
2029  Arkansas
          West Virginia
          North Carolina
2030  Kentucky
          Georgia
          Oklahoma
2032  Louisiana
          South Carolina
2034  Alabama
          Tennessee
2035  Mississippi

Gay marriage will arrive earlier if state courthouses deem it unconstitutional to do otherwise. The above scenario should be viewed as a cautious prediction, based entirely on majority voting support. My final forecast: the last states to concede to gay marriage were all members of the Confederacy that was reluctant to end African-American slavery. This parallel will be repeatedly noted.


Data:
Alabama: 19% vote against gay marriage ban in 2006.  Neighboring influence accelerates it three years.
Alaska: 32% voted against marriage ban in 1998.  Canadian influence accelerates it two years.
Arizona: 44% vote against gay marriage ban in 2008.
Arkansas: 25% voted against marriage ban in 2004.
California: 48% vote against gay marriage ban in 2008.
Colorado: 44% vote against gay marriage ban in 2006.
Delaware: State legislature supports gay rights.
Florida: 38% vote against gay marriage ban in 2008.
Georgia: 24% voted against marriage ban in 2004.
Hawaii: 31% voted against marriage ban in 1998.
Idaho: 37% vote against gay marriage ban in 2006.
Illinois: 2005 poll shows only 31% support gay marriage, but half of Chicago.  Neighbors accelerate it four years.
Indiana: Conservative MidWest state finally follows neighbors.
Kansas: 30% vote against gay marriage ban in 2005.
Kentucky: 24% voted against marriage ban in 2004.
Louisiana: 22% voted against marriage ban in 2004.
Maine: Narrowly rejected gay marriage in 2009.
Maryland: Recent UCLA study says the state will gain 3.2 million annually via same-sex marriage.
Michigan: 41% voted against marriage ban in 2004.
Minnesota:  2010 poll says only 40% of state supports gay marriage, neighbors accelerate it three years
Mississippi: 14% voted against marriage ban in 2004.
Missouri: 29% voted against marriage ban in 2004.
Montana: 33% voted against marriage ban in 2004.  Canadian influence accelerates it one year.
Nebraska: 30% voted against marriage ban in 2000.
Nevada: 33% voted against marriage ban in 2002.
New Jersey: Poll says voters already support gay marriage by 6% margin.
New Mexico: Libertarian leaders; beats neighbor Arizona by one year.
New York:  2009 poll suggests that 47% support gay marriage.
North Carolina: 2009 poll showed only 21% support gay marriage.
North Dakota: 27% voted against marriage ban in 2004.  Neighboring influence accelerates it three years.
Ohio: 38% voted against marriage ban in 2004.
Oklahoma: 24% voted against gay marriage ban in 2004.
Oregon: 43% voted against gay marriage ban in 2004.
Pennsylvania: Conservative resistance, but the city of “brotherly love” spearheads change.
Rhode Island:  2009 poll says 43% oppose gay marriage in this Catholic state, but New England tolerance will accelerate it by 2 years.
South Carolina: 22% vote against gay marriage ban in 2006.  Neighbors accelerates it three years, religion delays it one.
South Dakota: 48% vote against gay marriage ban in 2006.  Neighbors delay it three years.
Tennessee: 19% vote against gay marriage ban in 2006. Neighbors accelerate three years.
Texas: 24% vote against gay marriage in 2005. Mexican and New Mexican influence accelerates it three years.
Utah: 34% voted against gay marriage ban in 2004.  Mormons add a year.
Virginia: 43% vote against gay marriage ban in 2006. 
Washington: Follows Oregon and Canada neighbors. Supported domestic partner referendum in 2009 by 7%.
West Virginia: Socially conservative state finally follows its neighbors.
Wisconsin: 41% vote against gay marriage ban in 2006. Neighbors Michigan and Iowa accelerate one year.
Wyoming: Still embarrassed by the murder of Matt Shepherd, the “Brokeback Mountain” state is also proud that it was the first state to give women the vote in 1869.


Hank Pellissier was IEET’s Managing Director on January-October in 2012, and an IEET Affiliate Scholar. He’s the author of two e-books, Invent Utopia Now and Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High? He is currently at BrighterBrains.org
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COMMENTS


And repealing DADT is the way to go; it has a dual purpose: besides the obvious, it lets the GOP know that they don’t own this country.





Gay marriage in South Dakota in 2012?
Am I reading that right?





What is most disturbing as relates to IEET is that rightwing Christians and other far-Rightists blog here not all that infrequently. If Communists blogged at conservative, Christian, & libertarian sites, wouldn’t Rightists be nervous about such? For Rightists of any stripe to involve themselves in gay rights issues is similar to KKK members being involved in black issues or, say, to foxes being involved in chicken coop issues.





IMO this is an issue of the tyranny of the majority heterosexuals versus the gay minority. The violent reaction against gays (read the Far-Right blogs, or even National Review, which is more moderate) is all out of proportion to what is being discussed. Hundreds of bloggers express unconcealed detestation towards gays. I really think the “queer” has replaced the “cuffie” as a scapegoat in America; with the level of animosity directed at gays it is difficult to avoid this conclusion.





im surprised that both Rhode island and Maryland are not pushed up..since BOTH (as well and NY) are pushing for gay marriage legislation THIS year..lets hope those 3 states (even with the GOP gains in NY) are in 2011!!

Im 42 and like many other gays…certainly hope we get gay marriage much sooner..My partner is also Colombian…so we have the extra issue of him being a non citizen, and being forced to leave the US.  Id like to marry him and live a happy life..I hope it happens before im too old to walk down the aisle!





MD will gain marriage in 2011





Actually it is thousands of bloggers who express their despisation of not just homosexuality but of gays themselves. If it is only the sound & fury of anti-gay wingnuts, you wouldn’t know it by the continuous intensity of the anger.
The level of venom is too high to ignore.





Two years ago I predicted Illinois would be the next state to legalize gay marriage and that (well, civil unions anyway) will be legal July 2011. I’m pretty good at predicting. There is no way on God’s green earth that there will be any state by the year 2035 that doesn’t allow gay marriage. My prediction is that gay marriage will be legal across the entire United States as early as 5 years from now and as late as 10.





Hi—I’m the author of the article - thanks for all your comments.  I wrote the article several months ago and events since then have changed the progress in various states.  For example, in November, Maine voted against gay marriage by a 52-48% margin - this means I might have to push back my prediction of legalization in that state to 2013.  On the other hand, the repeal of DADT is a huge, huge boost to gay advancement, it might, as Eugene S. suggests, make gay marriage legal all across the USA in 5-10 years instead of 25.  Socially-moderate Republicans are no longer opposed to gay marriage; this should speed things up, plus other factors - like the growing awareness that other American nations like Argentina and Mexico condone gay marriage, the weakening power of the Papacy and the widespread acceptance of gays in emerging young voters.  But I think the repeal of DADT will be viewed as an historical turning point.





As a pessimist, my caveat is: toleration is not acceptance.
Anita Bryant may tolerate Ellen Degeneres—but that is as far as it goes. Remember how blacks were freed in 1865, but not accepted.
Institutions change; the way most people think does not.





What function do the deep south states have? Are any of them international, world class destinations? Why not? Is it the people or the place?





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