Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Be Legal Across the U.S.
It was a good Valentine's Day for advocates of same-sex marriage. A week ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s ruling that California’s Proposition 8 forbidding same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. On Monday, Washington governor Chris Gregoire signed a bill making it the seventh state where same-sex couples can legally marry.
I have argued for a long time that it is only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal across the U.S. It’s not just that the legal case for same-sex couples marriage is strong, since there could nevertheless be five votes on the Supreme Court to uphold same-sex marriage bans. It's really because public opinion is steadily turning in favor of same-sex marriage. Last year, for the first time, four national polls found a majority of Americans favored same-sex marriage. The margin in those polls was slim, but that margin is growing.
That’s because it’s mostly older Americans who oppose same-sex marriage, while younger Americans support it by large margins. In 2009 Jeffrey Lax and Justin Phillips found that if marriage laws were determined by a majority of voters under 30, same-sex marriage would be legal in all but 12 states. As Alex Pareene wrote last year, even the head of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family has conceded that with large majorities of young Americans in favor of same-sex marriage its opponents have probably lost their fight against it. The future for same-sex marriage looks bright.
Gay couple image from Govincity / Shutterstock.com
Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.
- Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
- After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
- Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
What do we see from watching birds move across the country?
- A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
- The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
- Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.