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
The pandemic reminds us that our higher education system, with all its flaws, remains a key part of our strategic reserve.
- America's higher education system is under great scrutiny as it adapts to a remote-learning world. These criticisms will only make higher ed more innovative.
- While there are flaws in the system and great challenges ahead, higher education has adapted quickly to allow students to continue learning. John Katzman, CEO of online learning organization Noodle Partners, believes this is cause for optimism not negativity.
- Universities are pillars of scientific research on the COVID-19 frontlines, they bring facts in times of uncertainty and fake news, and, in a bad economy, education is a personal floatation device.
Researchers present what they’ve learned now that they can read the tiny text inside the Antikythera mechanism.
Though it it seemed to be just a corroded lump of some sort when it was found in a shipwreck off the coast of Greece near Antikythera in 1900, in 1902 archaeologist Valerios Stais, looking at the gear embedded in it, guessed that what we now call the “Antikythera mechanism" was some kind of astronomy-based clock. He was in the minority—most agreed that something so sophisticated must have entered the wreck long after its other 2,000-year-old artifacts. Nothing like it was believed to have existed until 1,500 years later.
The institutional barriers that have often held creative teaching back are being knocked down by the coronavirus era.
- Long-held structures in the education system, like classroom confines and schedules, have held back innovation for a long time, says education leader Richard Culatta.
- In the coronavirus era, we have been able to shake some of those rigid structures loose, making way for creativity and, ultimately, a more open mindset.
- When creativity and technology combine, learning can become so much more than delivering content to a student. Culatta gives two stunning examples: one of a biotech class, and another involving a student discovering a star.
We'd like to think that judging people's worth based on the shape of their head is a practice that's behind us.
'Phrenology' has an old-fashioned ring to it. It sounds like it belongs in a history book, filed somewhere between bloodletting and velocipedes.
Maybe you've been wondering if you're seeing one persistent squirrel or a rotating cast of characters.