Try as they might, anti-gay politicians are waging a losing battle against the forces of marriage equality in the United States. When you read headlines about Maryland postponing a vote on gay marriage for a year, or Kansas trying to make the act of being gay a crime it can be easy to assume there’s an overwhelming cloud of conservative hate out there swirling around the world.
But through the magic of mathematics, we can assure you this is hardly the case. A new study put together by Equality Matters shows that partnerships between gay and lesbian couples are recognized today in almost half of the nation.
Gay marriage is legal in five states – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont – and the District of Columbia, covering 7 percent of the American population. Another 7 states – Hawaii, Illinois, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington – offer gay couples similar rights to marriage with civil unions or domestic partnerships. Nearly 30 percent of Americans live in these 13 states.
Wisconsin, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, Maine and Colorado also offer domestic partnerships, but these laws only offer a limited set of benefits.
New Mexico recognizes the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples but bans all other forms of recognition.
“These statistics are incredibly significant,” the survey’s authors said in releasing their findings. “Despite the best efforts of anti-gay groups and politicians, the LGBT community has made rapid progress across the United States.”
Legislation that would legalize gay marriage in Rhode Island and Washington has been introduced, while Delaware and Colorado are considering civil unions. An effort for marriage failed earlier this year in Maryland.
Hey now! So don’t you fret your pretty little head over bigots using religion as an excuse to encroach upon your rights. We were hoping for tolerance, but we’ve been lucky to garner straight up acceptance of our relationships in recent years. More Americans support gay marriage than don’t in our country for the first time ever. History is marching along quite quickly these days. Hang in there!