• August 28, 2015

Approval of Gay Marriage Is Greater Among College Freshmen Than Americans at Large

College students who describe themselves as politically "far right" arrive on campuses across the country supporting legal same-sex marriage significantly more than do conservative Republicans nationwide, according to new data released by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Twenty-four percent of the most conservative college students say that same-sex couples should have the right to legal marital status, according to the institute's most recent survey of freshmen, conducted last summer and fall. In the nation at large, 14 percent of conservative Republicans support gay marriage, according to a survey conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

National debate over same-sex marriage, including the first gay marriages in the nation's capital this month, prompted the Higher Education Research Institute to prepare the new data, which were presented last week in Chicago at the annual conference of Naspa—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The institute plans to publish a special report this spring.

Greater Acceptance by the Young

Over all, 65 percent of the college freshmen surveyed last fall supported same-sex marriage, compared with 58 percent of Americans 18 to 29 years old and 39 percent of the population nationwide, according to the Pew research groups' study.

Support for gay marriage has increased generally in the past decade. In 2000, 56 percent of entering college students backed it. Four years later, freshmen were 57 percent supportive at the time they enrolled, and by graduation, 69 percent of that entering class supported gay marriage, according to the UCLA research institute.

The freshman and national surveys both asked people to place themselves in one of five categories along the political spectrum. In comparisons across those categories, which were roughly similar but not identical, college students showed significantly more support for same-sex marriage than the population at large in four groups, including a 24-percentage-point difference in the center: "Middle of the road" freshmen were 68 percent supportive, while independents nationally were 44 supportive (see table).

In the center-right category, which the freshman survey labeled "conservative" and the national poll called "moderate and liberal Republican," the trend didn't hold. Thirty-two percent of freshmen and 36 percent of the national population in those groups said that they supported gay marriage. The margin of error for the Pew survey, with 4,000 responses, is two percentage points; the freshman survey's larger sample, with about 220,000 responses last fall, makes its margin of error negligible.

Over time, college students' support for same-sex marriage has grown more significantly on the left and in the center. Since 1997, when the freshman survey introduced this question, support has gone up 21 percentage points among the most liberal students, 16 percentage points in the middle, and two percentage points on the far right.

Racial and Religious Groups

The Higher Education Research Institute also broke down freshmen's support for same-sex marriage by sex, race, and religious affiliation. Women were 72 percent supportive and men 57 percent supportive, compared with national rates of 43 percent for women and 34 percent for men, according to the Pew survey.

Among freshmen, Hispanic students were 69 percent supportive, white students 65 percent supportive, and black students 53 percent supportive. Support among those groups in the population at large was lower: 45 percent among Hispanics, 39 percent among whites, and 26 percent among blacks.

Students who identified themselves as Jewish, Buddhist, or nonreligious were most supportive, with at least 87 percent in each group favoring legal same-sex marriage. Sixty-six percent of Catholic students and 58 percent of Muslim students expressed support, as did between 50 and 75 percent of students affiliated with most Protestant Christian denominations.

Nationally, 27 percent of Protestants and 45 percent of Catholics support legal same-sex marriage.

Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, an advocacy group for same-sex marriage, attributes college students' relatively high and growing levels of support to their personal experience. "Young people who know gay people, talk with them, and examine why marriage matters in the lives of real people move in support," he said. The organization recently hired a former organizer for Youth for Obama to reach out to college students.

An opponent of same-sex marriage said he wasn't concerned by the survey's findings. "Typically, across the board, young people tend to be more liberal or progressive," said Glenn Stanton, director of family-formation studies at Focus on the Family, a conservative group. "As they get older ... they really start to see the world in a different way."

Still, Mr. Stanton travels to college campuses to promote his views on traditional marriage. College students' support for same-sex marriage is weak, he said. "It's a softer kind of conviction, not well formed or articulated in their minds."

John H. Pryor, director of the Higher Education Research Institute's Cooperative Institutional Research Program, which runs the freshman survey, hopes the new findings promote more open discussion on campuses. For example, he said, imagine a college where a gay first-year student asks to switch his assigned roommate from somebody who identifies as conservative.

"The staff there," he wrote in an e-mail message, "might encourage him to open a dialogue with this prospective roommate."


1. 22228715 - March 17, 2010 at 08:17 am

Mr. Pryor, regarding the final comment... why do you think we would need to imagine such a college? What you describe is a pretty everyday, run-of-the-mill standard residence life and housing response, and has been for the 25 years I've been working in the field (at least at the 5 places I've worked). As a researcher, are you recommending changes in practice without a good working knowledge of current practice? Or is your administrative experience centered on a system that routinely makes room changes without dialogue or inquiry into the issue? Or were you just misquoted?

(Sorry, not the heart of the article, I know. But after a whole article that sounded like it might be a glimpse of the future, it was a weird ending and I thought I should note that.)

2. ksledge - March 17, 2010 at 08:51 am

I had the same thought. Why is it the gay student's duty to risk living in a safe environment just in order to educate his roommate? If he can take it, it could be a great experience for both, but a student should be able to choose to get out of such a situation if necessary. It's not the same as, "my roommate and I don't get along, we need to switch."

3. 11182967 - March 17, 2010 at 09:07 am

One of the ironies of college dorm life is that on many campuses students are not permitted to room with--or even visit the room of--a partner of a different gender, but gay and lesbian couples can live together in a dorm with comparative ease (we certainly knew of such couples when I was in college in the 60's). I've often wondered what would happen if a straight couple sued to be able to live together in a dorm room on the premise that otherwise they were being discriminated against relative to gay couples. That might break what's left of in loco parentis for good. It's good to see that attitudes are changing.

4. dandelion1 - March 17, 2010 at 09:40 am

This is not surprising news. They have been carefully taught to accept homosexuality as a valid lifestyle choice for thirteen years by the time they hit college campuses. That's a lot of indoctrination. They are thoroughly misled, even to thinking of sodomy as sex. Which it isn't. It's sodomy. And before the hate starts heading my way, let me say that I am not afraid of people who claim to be homosexual, nor do I persoanlly dislike any of the people I know who identify as gay. But it is not natural, and we should not teach that it is.

5. cplantin - March 17, 2010 at 09:58 am

dandelion1: I'd say that their last 13 years of "indoctrination," as you put it, is an attempt at removing centuries of religious-based anti-gay persecution that resulted in deep-seated societal practices that have ranged from housing discrimination against gay people, firing people because they were gay, brutal beatings and murders, to official executions. And yes, homosexuality IS natural for a small percent of any population -- just as is left-handedness, having red hair, or extremely low or high intelligence. Lastly, sexual orientation is not regarded by the gay community or by the scientific community to be a choice; holding extremist religious beliefs on the other hand, is most certainly a choice.

6. jaggok - March 17, 2010 at 10:09 am

dandelion1, if students are taught for 13 years that homosexuality is a valid lifestyle, where are the parents in all these cases? They should be teaching their children what is right and wrong. Maybe they are teaching their children that homosexuality is a valid lifestyle.
Maybe you should understand the meaning of words before you spew them out. Sodomy is not just a homosexual act.

7. 791075gene - March 17, 2010 at 10:20 am

I think the general population attitudes uncovered in this article say more about the intransience of religious dogma which easily allows followers to ignore an issue of social justice as well as scientific data on the genetics of sex. As a member of a Protestant denomination (Episcopal) that has and continues to strive for inclusion, I wonder to which Protestant groups the article refers when it contends that only “27% of Protestant groups “ support gay marriage. Such religious hubris shows how easily bigotry is maintained by those who profess to follow an inclusive Messiah.

8. dank48 - March 17, 2010 at 10:44 am

Dandelion1, I apologize for piling on, but really . . . As Bruce Bawer has pointed out, identification of homosexuality with sodomy overlooks one simple fact: many homosexuals do not engage in sodomy; many heterosexuals do. And the fact that you (or anyone, for that matter) happen not to like something doesn't mean that it's "unnatural" any more than it means that it's not sex.

9. humgrad - March 17, 2010 at 10:52 am

When 65% of college freshmen think something, if anything, it makes me inclined to think the other way.

10. greenhills73 - March 17, 2010 at 11:26 am

I'm with humgrad on this one. The fact that college freshmen think a certain way means exactly what to me? I can pretty much remember myself as a college freshman, and I hold few, if any, of the same views I did then. This data is unsurprising but it doesn't portend much of anything.

11. ruhroh - March 17, 2010 at 11:31 am

What is it with people like dandelion1? Is sex the only thing in your life? I have been with my partner for over 12 years. We LOVE each other and care for each other. Sex is a small part of our lives but it sounds like sex is the only thing YOU can focus on. Maybe if you had a more enriched and fulfilled life you could stop worrying about what other people do in the PRIVACY of their own homes.

12. mercuria - March 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

To #9 and #10, not everyone was or is a total loss when in college. Whether our thoughts stay with us, college is a formative time in the development of a maturing mind. For me, it was a time to see the world away from my hometown and parents' influence. In other words, it was an important stage that helped me become the adult I am now. That more kids now support gay marriage may not point to any quantifiable predictions for the future. But I think it does portend ever growing mainstream support for gay marriage and gay rights. Which to me, is only an appropriate response to the self-evident truths of us all being equal to pursue our lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness. Ever closer!

13. 11182967 - March 17, 2010 at 01:11 pm

When I was in high school in the late 50's we were taught to avoid public displays of physical affection between boys and girls and to be uncomfortable in the presence of such displays. The presumption was that whatever went on in public was the merest shadow of what might go on in private, and in those pre-Pill days the possibility of some couple "going all the way" was fraught with dangers. But the Pill and the 60's changed perceptions, and I'm comfortable with (at least some) public expressions of my affection for my equally mature wife that would have embarrassed me back in my teenage days. The world is much less buttoned up, so the speak, than it once was--remember when "a little old lady in tennis shoes (with a pink crewcut) was a rarity and not your grandmother?

These days I oppose discrimination based on sexual identity and, eg, support gay marriage. But I'm still uncomfortable around public displays of affection between gay partners, particularly between males. I recognize that this discomfort is a socialized reaction which is as difficult to overcome as my teenage discomfort around explicit displays of affection by boy-girl couples. We too often base our support or opposition to a change in mores on our socialized feelings rather than on reason. But young people who have not yet had a long lifetime of conditioning in "the old ways" are capable of setting an example for the old folks. Let's celebrate the openness and generosity, the inclusiveness of these "fresh"-persons and learn from them to be at ease with living with the real world of varied sexual identity rather than wasting time trying to turn that world into something it never was and never will be.

14. obtusegoose - March 17, 2010 at 01:21 pm

@ dandelion1: Children are "indoctrinated" into religion by their parents, where they are brainwashed into believing that gay people are sinners that have chosen that "lifestyle", and that if gays pray hard enough they won't be gay anymore. This 2000 year old nonsense needs to end. Educated people, such as college students, know that the church has been lying to them their entire lives. They know that sexual orientation is NOT a lifestyle. No one gets to choose their orientation -- straight or gay. The sooner people realize this obvious fact, the sooner people like yourself will stop focusing on sex-acts, and see people as individuals.

15. greeneyeshade - March 17, 2010 at 02:14 pm

There is no doubt in my mind that there has been entirely too much discrimination of gays--that they have been de-humanized even by those of us who believe gay sex is morally wrong. All the civil rights that ought to accrue to any set of partners, regardless of gender should be protected by society and by law. And when it comes to simple respect and everyday decency, gays should be no different than anyone else, and indeed celebrated for their frequently unique talents and joie de vivre.

But equality with respect to marriage and endorsement of gay sexual relations? No way. To say that heterosexual marriages are equal to homosexual unions ignores the complementary nature of the two relationships. To hijack a word--marriage--that so clearly represents a naturally observable fact of life makes no sense. Yet proponents of gay marriage seek to define marriage by some other standard that doesn't begin from the defining difference that is as plain as the complementarity of a man's and a woman's genitals. (Love is the standard? I love my dog, therefore...?)

The immorality of gay sex likewise has a basis in nature. It is an unnatural act, plainly contrary to And please, to redefine nature by pointing to exceptions is fallacious--exceptions prove the rule.

That society really can't practically make any sexual act illegal--including homosexual acts--is a position I understand. Enforcing compliannce withs uch laws creates more harm than good. But that such sexual conduct is morally wrong is in no way a bigoted observation, nor is that position in itself any kind of religious persecution.

That some people attack gays in the name of religion is more a reflection on them than it is on reasoned religious positions which recognize the good in everyone but stand firm against particular practices that run contra to our human nature.

16. greeneyeshade - March 17, 2010 at 02:16 pm

Incomplete thought above: "...plainly contrary to the biological complementarity of the two genders."

17. jhpryor - March 17, 2010 at 02:45 pm

@ 22228715
Thanks for asking about my comment. I was not misquoted in the section that has quotation marks, but I did not use the word "imagine" when discussing this with the reporter, although I can see how she might summarize the preamble in that way. I was giving an example of how this information might be useful, so it was more of a "for example" than "imagine," if that helps. My point was not to discuss housing policy, but, more broadly, to show that having information like this helps to broaden discussion about differences if it can serve to open the door a crack. And no, it was also not intended to mean that it was then the gays student's duty to educate, but more, again, of a way to open doors rather than close them.

18. alivenaz - March 17, 2010 at 03:10 pm

@dandelion1: oh, please - join the 21st century and stop being such a misinformed homophobe.

19. zerwin - March 17, 2010 at 03:46 pm

@greenyeshade: If I'm interpreting your post correctly, you seem to be saying that heterosexual marriages are more "moral" because gay relationsips run "contrary to the biological complementarity of the two genders." But this biological complementarity would only apply to procreative vaginal intercourse, right? Because that's really the only sex act (among the many that are commonly practiced by straight people and gay people, as has already been pointed out here) that can be isolated as exclusively heterosexual, right? By that logic, non-procreative sex between any two people, be they straight or gay, would be less moral, as would non-procreative marriages between heterosexual people. Moreover, it's worth remembering here that, as Thomas Laqueur and others have shown, the idea of two opposite, yet "biologically complementary," sexes is a fairly recent one in the grand scheme of human history, which shows that our notions of what is "natural" are not fixed and ingrained, but rather culturally informed and always evolving.

20. shadow_man - March 17, 2010 at 04:09 pm

Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.


Thats why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will.

This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery, keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of God's will.

21. shadow_man - March 17, 2010 at 04:09 pm

For those of you claiming homosexuality is a "lifestyle", that is a false and ignorant statement. Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don't choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. "Nurture" may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.

And it should also be noted that:
"It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association."

22. shadow_man - March 17, 2010 at 04:11 pm

The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

America's premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

23. shadow_man - March 17, 2010 at 04:11 pm

The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers state:

"There is no scientific basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with respect to the legal rights, obligations, benefits, and burdens conferred by civil marriage."


Thus, mental health professionals and researchers have long recognized that being homosexual poses no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life, and that the vast majority of gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships.


The research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality.

http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.p df

The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.

http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/sexual-o rientation.aspx

24. shadow_man - March 17, 2010 at 04:11 pm

This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don't feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren't human.

"I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if "Gays" have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate "(Legal Document)" of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. "

25. shadow_man - March 17, 2010 at 04:12 pm

Violence against a minority group


Gays are being beaten, shot at, sent to the hospital, killed. In the Middle East, they are killing gays among other groups out of hatred. Is this what we want America to become? Do we want America to revert back to the 1960's when groups were killed and segregated against for simply no good reason? Do we want to follow the ways of the Middle East and Al Queda? Let's push forward, it's time to end bigotry, discrimination, hate, and ignorance. This is modern America, not the Dark Ages.


26. obtusegoose - March 17, 2010 at 04:35 pm

@ greeneyeshade: No one is arguing that a penis goes into a vagina. If that's your legal argument against same-sex marriage, it's pretty weak. Here are the legal qualifications to be part of the tradition of marriage:
1. Must be of legal age. (In New Hampshire a 13 year old girl and 14 year old boy can marry with permission of their parent and a waiver.)
2. Must not be too closely related. (Some states allow first cousins to marry.)
3. Must not be currently married.
4. Must be an opposite-sex couple.

That's it! Nothing in there about God, love, procreation, fidelity or the "complementary nature of the two relationships". The two people involved don't even have to know each other. Two strangers can show up at the court house and get legally married. Neither the state nor the government can stop them. THAT is the legal definition of traditional marriage.

So please explain how a same-sex couple is less qualified to marry than two teenagers that aren't legally allowed to drive a car or buy alcohol.

27. flynnra1 - March 17, 2010 at 04:55 pm

"In the center-right category, which the freshman survey labeled 'conservative' and the national poll called 'moderate and liberal Republican,' the trend didn't hold. Thirty-two percent of freshmen and 36 percent of the national population in those groups said that they supported gay marriage."

The above passage concerns me. I find the differences in categories between the freshman survey and the national poll troubling. I do not think that "far right" and "conservative Republican" necessarily mean the same thing. Nor do I think that "conservative" and "moderate or liberal Republican" mean the same thing. Thus, I do not think it makes sense to compare the 24 percent of "far right" freshman who support gay marriage to the 14 percent of "conservative Republicans" who do, etc.

28. flynnra1 - March 17, 2010 at 04:55 pm


29. humgrad - March 17, 2010 at 05:19 pm

Many of my friends from high school and college are becoming more conservative as they get older. I wouldn't be surprised to see the same thing happen to the freshmen cited in this article.

65% of freshmen probably can't tell you when the Civil War was fought or in what century Benjamin Franklin was born in or what the capital of Canada is. We need better models if we are to get serious about our moral and ethical questions.

30. cplantin - March 17, 2010 at 07:36 pm

greeneyeshade: You said, "The immorality of gay sex likewise has a basis in nature. It is an unnatural act, plainly contrary to And please, to redefine nature by pointing to exceptions is fallacious--exceptions prove the rule." Morality in the sense you intend is a human construct. Homosexuality is not an act, it is an orientation. And it is indeed natural for a small percent of the population (including humans and some animals), just like left handedness, unusual hair colors, and any number of other things. These natural variations are not "exceptions that redefine nature"; they are themselves very natural. And less of a choice than religion. And, like our ever-evolving understandin of science and psychology, the institution of marriage is not immutable in its scope. It never has been.

31. shadow_man - March 18, 2010 at 06:49 am

humgrad: People's social views tend to stay the same. That's why racism was eliminated. The younger generations took over and had a different view, and saw that there was no difference between black people and white people. The trend of not only gay marriage, but all issues related to homosexuality, have taken a sharp turn in the last 40 years. Attitudes have changed significantly to support homosexuality/gay marriage, and in time, that will continue to be the case and direction, as people become educated about sexual orientation, and realize its a natural, biological, and unsinful part of human life.

32. manhartg - March 18, 2010 at 08:18 am

The views of college freshmen are exceptionally significant because.......? Most are barely responsible enough to babysit, and are prone to reciting "Yo Gabba Gabba" rhetoric as their philosophical base. This is a dangerous group from which to draw conclusions, plan the future.

33. knmys - March 18, 2010 at 08:22 am

Humgrad said: 65% of freshmen probably can't tell you when the Civil War was fought or in what century Benjamin Franklin was born in or what the capital of Canada is. We need better models if we are to get serious about our moral and ethical questions.
I would guess that 65% of 65 year olds don't know how to use the internet. Knowing when Ben Franklin was born has helped approximately 4 people in the history of the world (2 of them were Ben's parents, Ben himself, and 1 guy who was on Jeopardy). Knowing random historic facts does not equate to a moral or ethical role model. Even knowing the capital of Canada is likely less useful than knowing how to type on a keyboard.

What I'm trying to say is that maybe you should seek ethical and moral models in people's actions, not in how well they'd score on a history or geography exam.

Also, could it be that your 'friends' from HS/College may seem to be getting more conservative as they age because you're speaking less to your 'liberal' friends and more to your 'conservative' friends? I know the reverse has happened for me, partially because of current social preferences and partially because of who my 'close' friends were in HS/College.

34. zefelius - March 18, 2010 at 09:47 pm

Yay for gays!!!

More acceptance is a wonderful thing.

Arguments based on age are fallacious because they're ad hominem: being younger neither validates nor invalidates a view. The same holds true for older people: becoming conservative is neither more nor less valid based on your age.

I'm surprised that there are so many simple logical fallacies perpetuated in a forum by members I presume to be well-educated. Another example can be found under the article on Professor Vable, as many argued against his views based upon a certain perceived hypocrisy on his part. Again, his personal traits are just as irrelevant to the truth or falsity of his views as age, race, or sexual orientation is to the views held under this article.

We should teach more logic to our students and future professors!

Super Pro-Gay, Pro-Lesbian, Pro-Freaky, Pro-Straight Zefelius!!!

35. stonewaller - March 20, 2010 at 01:32 am

For the record: I am a human rights activist who is a vetern of both the Black Civil Rights Movement as well as the LGBT Rights Movement. In fact, I was at Stonewall and have been advocating for same sex marital rights for more than 15 years when such was not even a glint in the eyes of most Gays and Lesbians.

KSLEDGE I was the first non-Black student and the first non-Asian student to have a Black roommate and an Asian roommate at the most liberal law school in the nation in the 1970's. Is it your position that I was "taking my life in my hands" by doing so.
There is a difference between self-segregation and survival.

11182967 I was chair of the residence counsel at my law school in the 1970's. At the behest of a heterosexual student couple, I attempted to secure them official permission to share a room.
Not surprsingly, the the administration refused as would be the case in virtually every college and university with which I am familiar not only in the United States but in the world.

Much like the fact that I have no opposition on any basis -- let alone separate but equal -- from the Gay and Lesbian about that fact that first cousins are only allowed to marry in half the states, I suspect that this is an example of "separate but equal" that will not be protested let alone litiagated by the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement. Then again, most LGBT constitutional lawyers let alone LGBT masses do not understand the legal concept.

All that "natural" means is that something occurs in a state of nature. Cyanide occurs in a state of nature. That does not mean it is good for human beings. Aluminum does not occur in a state of nature. That does not mean it is bad for human beings. Thus, whether or not something is or is not natural does not really tell us anything about its inherent value to society. Second, what people usually when the say that something is "unnatural" or "abnormal" is that it is not good, right, moral or just. It is that which we should be debating rather than "joining" the nature or normality argument of our adversaries in this.

791015 Given the racist, sexist, homophobic history of White Anglo Saxon Protestants both in this country and abroad, I do not think that you want to preach to the rest of us about the inclusivity of the Episcopal church which has been responsible for many injustices such as enslavement of Blacks, subordination of women and repression of homosexuals. The postion of Anglicans tells us nothing about moral righteous. If you don't believe me, just ask your Nigerian brothers and sisters and others elsewhere.

MERCURIA One should not confuse legal tolerance with social tolerance. For example: in Brazil, there are substantial laws protecting homosexuals along with death squads seeking to kill them. In Thailand, there are few laws protecting homosexuals, but queer bashings are rare. In Western Europe and the US, there is appears to be a widespread view among LGBT that legal tolerance
equals social tolerance. This is not borne out by the facts even in such an ostensibly LGBT friendly place as the Netherlands.

While a majority of Americans today oppose the idea of the State interfering in interracial marriage, those same Americans oppose interracial marriage and nowhere more strongly than in the Black community. It is also worth noting that the Black Civil Rights Movement conscicously decision to not make interracial marriage an issue. The reasons were three: 1) we did not think that it would significantly futher energize existing activists; 2) we did not think it would substantially activate nonexisting activists; 3) we did think it would mobilize our adversaries on ever other issue of concern to this. The Lovings admit they were not civil rights activists but only concerned about their own marriage.

More or less this is precisely what has happened as a result of LGBT Movement leadership choosing -- and it was a "choice" -- to make Same Sex Marriage the premier issue of the Movement. And notwithstanding that: 1) only 15% of Gays and Lesbians have expressed an interest in getting married ever; 2) that 85% of LGBT are more concerned about employment nondiscrimination and the majority of state LGBT organizations do not believe that SSM should be the primary Movement issue. Thus it is the minority of those Gays and Lesbians who seek marriage who have been willing to sacrifice the majority's needs for their own selfish wants.

Furthermore, I do not know anybody who has been active in both the Black Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Rights Movement who thinks that the analogy between interracial marriage and Same Sex Marriage is a good one historically, legally, politically or strategically. In terms of the "separate but equal" doctrine, the Supreme Court has established three basic standards: 1) strict scruting which has been applied to race for historical reasons; 2)intermediate scrutiny which has been applied to gender for biological reasons and 3) reasonable basis which has been applied to sexual orientation for questions about causation.

The overwhelming majority of constitutional scholars sympathetic to LGBT in general and Same Sex Marriage believe that we cannot rely on a single vote on the Supreme Court. Furthermore, leading Gay constitutional scholars recognize the truth of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's retrospecitve observations about Roe v Wade. Namely, that it is not good for major social questions to be decided by the courts if for no other reason than those decisions do not resolve them. We were winning the abortion rights battle state-by-state before the issue was hijacked by the courts. The result is the endless wrangling which has ensued ever since.

The fact is that the same majority of young people who favor the idea of spousal rights for same gender couples, find the idea of Gay sex abhorrent. And once those spousal rights are labeled
"marriage," the level of support diminishes. It is for precisely this reason that we architects of spousal rights for same gender couples have argued for a strategy that has been successful as opposed to a strategy that has not been so. The "marriage only strategy has led to 45 states passing marriage bans, 18 of those bans extending to civil unions and domestic partnerships and 30
of those bans have been by constitutional amendment. Meanwhile domestic partnership has never in and of itself lost an election!

Comprehensive domestic partnership legislation has achieved legal rights virtually indistinguishable from marriage. Our long term strategy was to create a legally parallel and equal category now realizing that eventually they would combined one way or another.
One of the saddest results of the "marriage only" strategy is that it ignores that fact that domestic partnerships have brought real security and tangible benefits to tens of thousands of Gay and Lesbian families. The "marriage only" strategy -- and it is only a strategy -- has become a "marriage or nothing strategy."

Not only does the term "separate but equal" mean something other than what LGBT people seem to think, it was always a lie in any case. Racists who promoted it were never serious about treating African Americans equally. And the opposite that "separate can never be equal" is also a lie. If it were true, we would not have first cousin marriages in half the states, separate building access for the physically disabled or affirmative action anywhere.

Not to mention that all civil rights struggles have had been achieved step-by-step with many compromises made along the way.
LGBT seem to think that we are the first and last people to ever have been discriminated against. This is ignorant & ahistorical.

36. stonewaller - March 20, 2010 at 01:41 am

ALIVENAZ Calling another who disagrees with one such names as as "homophobe" is what philosophers call a logical fallacy. It proves nothing and produces heat rather than sheds light.

ZERWIN You are confusing the cultural evolution of marriage with the legal institution of marriage. Notwithstanding that some may enter marriage with no intention of having children, that others may find themselves to be sterile or infertile and that still others may get married past childbearing years, laws regarding marriage were designed with procreation in mind. If you desire more information, may I suggest that you read the work of one of the leading scholars on SSM, the Lesbian constitutional lawyer, Nancy Polikoff. For that reason, Polikoff believes that the laws regarding marital benefits must be changed and dramatically so.

37. stonewaller - March 20, 2010 at 02:31 am

ZERWIN Cont'd. Others of us believe that financial benefits for married couples should be done away with altogether. That way the "separate but equal" argument disappears and the only reason for people to get married would be emotional as it should be.

SHADOWMAN You get on all of these blogs and make all kinds of pronouncements based upon studies which either: 1) you have not read; 2) you don't understand; 3) you summarize inaccurately.

Even an LGBT congregation rabbi such as Toby Manewith agrees that Leviticus means what it says in terms of condemning homosexuality.
But even if one agreed with Rabbi Robert Saks that it meant otherwise it would make no difference. Do you honestly expect to convince anybody who believes it to be so to think otherwise? And if the truth be told, it is not only Orthodox Jews, pious Catholics and jihadist Muslims who cherry pick from holy books.
So do self-righteous LGBT people like yourself. And to what end?

You show your ignorance when you observe that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. No he did not. And for good reason, he was not around when the Old Testament was written and that is where Leviticus is to be found. So far as hypocrites are concerned, you are wrong again. It has been well stated that "there are no
hypocrites in hell." Whatever may be the flaws, defects and sins those of us who will end up in hell, there is one thing you can count on: we will have been honest in our thoughts, words and deeds. There is no shortage of LGBT who complain about others discriminating against them while they are the biggest bunch of classists, racists, sexists, ageists and ablists I have ever met.
Talk about hypocrisy. Have no fear. If there is a hell, plenty of LGBT will be sharing space along with the hateful homophobes.

At one time Gays claimed homosexuality was genetic in nature. Studies of identical twins disproved that, so now LGBT move on to a hormonal theory. First, hormonal theory is just that, a theory.
Second, there is no hormonal evidence for causation of Lesbianism or bisexuality. According to everybody from Kinsey through CDC to the pro-Gay Williams Institute at UCLA, less than 3% of the population is exclusively Gay. And why should we have to base our constitutional rights on biology anyway? Suppose, it is proven unequivocally that homosexuality is environmental, should we be denied our rights in that case? What about equality for people of faith? Should they be denied equality because one's religion is not based on biology? With respect to this whole biology business on which you rest our case, I recommend you read "THE RHETORIC AND POWER OF THE GAY GENE: Reinventing the Male Homosexual" which is written by an author who supports us.

And when it comes to bisexuality, you demonstrate an ignorance common to homosexuals in general and Gay men in particular. The fact that bisexuals may be attracted to more than one gender does not mean that their sexuality is any more of a "choice" than the sexuality of Gay people or Straight people for that matter. Few if any people wake up one morning and say: "I want to do something
which is going to result in my being condemned by the state, excommunicated by the church, terminated from employment, expelled
from school, abandoned by friends and disowned by family." But this does not mean that there is no "choice" in being Gay. This just means that it is not a matter of choice in that given way.

Schools of medicine from Johns Hopkins to Albert Einstein point to environmental factors as a major cause of homosexuality.
I regret to inform you that brain differences such as those between men and women in general or Gays and Straights in particular tell us nothing about causation. Sorry):

The fact that educators, social workers and clerics think that one cannot change one's sexuality may make one feel good but it has nothing to do with scientific determinations. Once upon a time, American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality was a mental disease or defect. If the APA still did so, would you be willing to go with that conclusion? Dr. Robert Spitzer was instrumental in the APA's decision to remove homosexuality from m the Diagnostic Manual of Statistical Disorders in 1973.

Much like Roe from Roe v Wade who changed her mind about abortion,
Dr. Spitzer says that he now believes some homosexuals can change their orientation. Was he right then or is he right now? Do you want to be wedded to his conclusions? I certainly do not.

38. stonewaller - March 20, 2010 at 03:48 am

SHADOWMAN Cont'd As you so often do, you misrepresent scientific and social scientific conclusions as well as contradict yourself.
You cite studies stating that sexual orientation is not a matter choice, but then you take it upon yourself to reinterpret that conclusion as being limited only to homosexuals while excluding bisexuals as well as heterosexuals. Where did you get that from? Have you ever studied the literature on bisexuality?

Then you cite the National Library of Medicine as stating that homosexuality is "morally neutral." So now, the NLM is the arbiter of morality? Is monogamy more moral than nonmonogamy?

Because in "After the Ball," two Gay market researchers confirm what most Gay men I know know. Namely, that the Gay male cheating
ratio approaches 100%. Studies also show that the average Gay male relationship lasts three years. Is that good for the health and happiness of individuals? In my biased opinion, no. Do those facts have anything to do with whether Same Sex Marriage should be legal? Absolutely not. But we should not have to lie about things to get where we want to go, even though I realize that it would be so much easier to do so.

For example, Kinsey stated that 10% of the male population had engaged in homosexual behavior for 3 years of their lives. That does not sound like immutable behavior to me. Fritz Kline, MD was an expert in bisexuality among other things. He and others have observed that people's sexuality changes over time -- not just Gay people's but everybody's. Again, this speaks to a mutability different than that which is presumed by many Gays.

As time has gone on, study after study shows that not more but less of the population is Gay or Lesbian. CDC and UCLA Williams institute confirm what all honest researchers have known for a long time. Namely, that Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals constitute somewhere between 2% and

Is that cheating ratio which is significantly higher than that of Straight couples good for children? In my biased opinion, no. Given all the children
orphaned or in foster care, is that a good reason for denying Gay people the right to adopt? In my biased opinion, no. In an ideal world where there were enough Straight couples to adopt all the otherwise unwanted children and those Straight adoptions in the best interest of the child, I do not

The theory that the legitimation of relationships and ostensible resulting societal support leads to longer, stronger relationshps is not borne out by the facts. Though interclass, interfaith and interracial marriages are perfectly legal, they do occur less frequently, have shorter longevity and dissolve more frequently than intraclass, intrafaithand intraracial marriages. Is that an argument against granting legal status to those relationships? No, of course not. But we should not have to lie about such.

You cite the APA as saying that there is not scientific basis for distinguishing between Gays and Straights for the purpose of legal marriage. That is all well and good except for one thing --legal rights are not predicated upon scientific determinations.
And many would agree that is a good thing too. Because if it were, we might be back to sterilizing people with Down's Syndrome or considering whether to allow one deaf person to marry another.

You cite the APA and others as saying that homosexuality is a "positve" variation of human sexuality. To say that it is a variation is one thing; to say that it is positive is something else. What is the APA's basis or qualification for saying so?
Most geneticists cannot understand why this trait which does not contribute to procreation was not weeded out along time ago. It violates Darwinian theory of natural selection. Recent studies of "uncles" in remote parts of the world don't change that fact.

Plenty of bipolar people and military veterans commit suicide. What does that have to do with legal marriage rights? Nothing.
It is not a matter of being "human." It is a matter that being human does not dictate legal rights. We are all human after all.

Then you contradict yourself once again and in a most peculiar way. First you state that: "People's social views tend to stay the same." Then you say "that's why racism was eliminated." Then you conclude that as people become more educated that their attitudes will change. Can you explain all of this please? If people's attitudes don't change, how are such evils as racism eliminated? Furthermore, you presume that education will always lead to positive change. It may interest you to know that as the education level of Blacks increases, so does their antisemitism!

Racism was not eliminated simply on account of generational changes. I wish it were so simple. Though there are paradigm shifts which take place over time, the generational change argument is overly simplistic. If that was all that was needed, there would have been no need for ant-Vietnam War, Black Civil Rights, Femninist, Disability Rights, Farmworkers or American Indian Movements among others. Less than one-half one percent of the population was like myself in terms of active participation in those struggles. If it were not for less than .01% of LGBT population, you'd still be in the closet cryiing your eyes out.

39. stonewaller - March 20, 2010 at 04:37 am

The CDC and the pro-Gay UCLA Williams Institute recently confirmed
what experts have known for a long time. Namely, that together Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals consitute 2% to 4% of the population.
Activists like my friend the late Tom Stoddard admitted that the LGBT Movement used the 10% "figure when most gay people were entirely hidden to try to create an impression of our numerousness."

So far as normal lifespan is concerned, the CDC finds that the average Gay man lives 40 uears and the average Lesbian lives 45 years. This compares with a Straight male life expectancy of 70 years and a Straight female life expectancy of 76 years. Should this have anything to do with the right to Same Sex Marriage? Of course not. But that does not make it any the less true.

Should different average life expectancies have anything to do with the adoption of children? If there was no Straight couple or individual for which the adoption would be "in the best interest of the child," and there was a Gay couple or individual for which the adoption would be "in the best interest of the child," then I would say it makes sense to have the Gay couple or individual adopt a child. But suppose there were two comparable couples or individuals -- one Gay and one Straight -- and one couple or individual was more likely to live longer than the other, it would make sense to me that prospectively longer lived parents would be in the best interest of the child. That would likewise be true if in a given instance a specific Gay couple or individual was more likely to live longer than a Straight couple.

When Bi people "come out," it is not uncommon for Gay people to respond: "Oh, you're not Bisexual. You're just a repressed homosexual or 'going through a phase'." Would you like to explain the difference to me? Sounds like a double standard to me? What does Mr. Shadowman "the hypocrite" have to say to that?

When Gays and Lesbians demand the right to legal marriage, Straights commonly state: "There is only one kind of marriage. That which is between a man and woman." Thus, Gays & Lesbians are effectively excluded. When Bisexuals and Transgenders demand the right to legal marriage, Gays and Lesbians commonly state: "There are only two kinds of marriage. That which is between a man and a woman and that which is between two peoplel of the same gender." Sounds like a double standard to me.
What does Mr. Shadowman "the hypocrite" have to say to that"?

If your objection to polyamorous marriage is practical, then say that you have no objection to polygamy in theory but that you see practical problems in implementing it. But most Gays and Lesbians
won't say that. Because just like lying about the percentage of LGBT in the population, inviting Bisexuals into the Movement only to ignore their marital desires and inviting Transgenders into the Movement only to ignore their employment discrimination, Gays and Lesbians are no less political opportunists than others.

RUHROH How many of your friends are Straight versus how many are Gay? I am happy to say that my life does not revolve around the Gay community and more than half my friends are Straight. I can tell you that my Straight friends discuss sex to a much lesser degree than my Gay friends. If we don't want others to define us by our sexuality, perhaps we should stop doing so as well.

40. stonewaller - March 20, 2010 at 04:44 am

OBTUSEGOOSE Is the fact that one half of the states allow first cousins to marry and the other half do not a violation of the "separate but equal" doctrine"?

CPLANTIN What is not a social construct? Is heterosexual child molestation a real evil or just a social construct?

41. mary_hayes - March 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

greeneyeshade: "But equality with respect to marriage and endorsement of gay sexual relations? No way. "

This is all too familiar to anyone who's old enough to remember Jim Crow days and the 20th century civil rights era; e.g.:

"I'm all for being nice to (as the genteel said then) colored people. We give our old clothes to the cleaning lady and our church takes charity Christmas baskets around every year. But let my children sit next to them in school? Let them eat at the same restaurants I do? No way."

42. mary_hayes - March 20, 2010 at 11:59 am

Zerwin: "Notwithstanding that some may enter marriage with no intention of having children, that others may find themselves to be sterile or infertile and that still others may get married past childbearing years, laws regarding marriage were designed with procreation in mind."

Not in Western cultures they haven't been; and not since the Industrial Revolution at the very latest. As a 19-years married heterosexual, I can tell you that when my husband and I married, we found nothing in civil law pertaining any civil authority having "procreation in mind." Marriage is a legal contract and such vague concepts as having something "in mind" carries no legal weight.

No heterosexual couple encounters any reference to procreation whatsoever in obtaining a marriage license. What religious insitutions might desire, urge or even pressure members to do is another matter; but that does not go to the institution of legal marriage.

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