On marriage and equality

27 Mar
Fantastic sign!

Fantastic sign!

This week is a big week for marriage equality in the United States.  Proposition 8 and DOMA are both being heard and discussed by the supreme court.  It will be a huge week for same-sex couples — either towards equality or against equal rights.

Many, many people have been reporting, blogging, and talking about this issue. Social media in particular has been blowing up.  Perhaps, you’ve been on Facebook and seen the big equality signs that many posted as profile pictures:


This was actually an encouraging sight for me.  You see, my Facebook network consists of conservative individuals, religious individuals, libertarians, liberals, people from a small town in Indiana, graduate students, and individuals who barely made it through high school.  I knew that I would see strong support from some of these groups.  Yet I saw overwhelming support across nearly all these groups, many of whom I couldn’t disagree with more on many issues (and am often shocked to see the crazy things they are willing to post).

To me, this only reinforces what a lot of social science has already told us.  Marriage equality is more of a generational issue than a conservative/liberal issue.  Even those who may otherwise be conservative are reasonably likely to support same-sex marriage equality if they are young.  In fact, the Republican National Committee recently acknowledged this in a report on why they lost the recent election and failed to connect to young voters.

This is not to say that all people – or all young people – are on board.  But it is encouraging to see such widespread support across various groups. Perhaps even more encouraging than the mountains of social science research, legal / historical / logical arguments, and newfound political support by both Republican and Democrat politicians.

same sex

We still have a ways to go, even if the supreme court rules in favor of marriage equality, but the support I saw today was promising in many ways. For some additional funny and clever signs, check out this site!


Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Media/Movies/TV, sociology, Uncategorized


Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “On marriage and equality

  1. Jeff

    March 28, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    I think your point is true. It seems that same-sex marriage is a generational issue and we’re finding that more and more people support it. And I share in your encouragement because I am also seeing these displays come from a wide array of people.

    Just to be a little cynical and to comment on the use of social networking to voice this, I have to question if that little picture is an adequate measure of “support.” Now, I just said that we’re seeing more and more people support marriage equality, and we’re seeing more people changing their avatars. I’d like to suggest that, perhaps, there is an ulterior motive for this. It’s a trend. There is a sort of accountability that your “support” can be called into question, should you not post a red and pink equal sign. It has simply become “cool” to post that picture or some more elaborate variation thereof. It’s tapping into our (I say our to align myself with those who support marriage equality) shared emotion, but in a way, it’s a bit disarming.

    Remember Kony? That dude sucks. So does telling people that their decision to spend the rest of their lives committed to one person will not have any sort of meaningful legal recognition because of their partner’s genitalia. But, perhaps we’re not saying as much as we think we are by posting these Facebook avatars. It’s potentially taking something we’re generally in agreement on (like child-soldiers and sex-slaves) and hollowing it out by placing it into the politics of cool.

    Or, it’s a forthright display of a strive for equality. It’s probably both.

    Full disclosure: I do not have an active Facebook account, but I imagine I would have changed my avatar had I had one.


    • trokspot

      March 28, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      I totes-mcgotes agree with you. In fact, I nearly added a slightly cynical addendum yesterday evening.

      Overall I’m still encouraged, and overall I still saw support…but was it simply “surface-level” support or a cool trend on facebook….yes, I think both as you accurately point out.

      The other thing that I noticed and was potentially the subject of not posted cynical addendum was that the anti-individuals did end up showing up to the party – just a little late. So maybe they just wanted to let the momentum subside just a bit before they began the “what, are animal marriages next?!” or “hmmmm, check out this ‘interesting’ (read – extremely anti-same-sex) blog post” or “polygamy’s next!”. It wasn’t a lot, but it was there (and it did turn out to be from the individuals I thought it might).

      But to go back to being encouraged, that doesn’t change the fact that the majority of what I saw was support (even among many I didn’t expect to see it from). Even surface level is ok with me at this point (baby steps…).



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