Council on Contemporary Families Gender Revolution Symposium:
Response to "Is the Gender Revolution Over?"
No Stall in the Sexual Revolution
James H. Rudy Professor of Sociology, Indiana University
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The gender revolution may have been stalled, but the sexual revolution continues to gather steam. Twenty years ago, the idea of same-sex marriage was inconceivable for most heterosexual and homosexual Americans. Sixteen years ago, the Defense of Marriage Act was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton. Ten years ago anti-sodomy laws still existed in thirteen states.
In this area, progress has speeded up since the mid 1990s. President Clinton has since disavowed the Defense of Marriage Act, as has Bob Barr, the former Republican congressman who authored the bill. Today six states, along with the District of Columbia, allow same-sex marriage. This number may soon increase, in light of recent legislative and judicial actions in California, Maryland and Washington. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has ruled that anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional.
In three successive national surveys taken with over 2200 Americans, I found that Americans continue to gravitate toward an inclusive definition of family. In 2003, nearly half of Americans refused to count any living arrangement involving same-sex couples-even those with children-as family. By 2010, this figure had dropped to just one-third.
In 2003, three-fifths of the people we interviewed opposed same-sex marriage. By 2010, more than half favored it. Today, nearly every national poll shows that more Americans back same-sex marriage than oppose it. Counting those who support civil unions, at least two-thirds of Americans now believe that same-sex couples deserve rights, benefits and recognition that just a short period ago would have been unheard of. - BP / March 6, 2012
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