The vocal minority that is the religious right would have you believe that homosexuality is an evil plague that will destroy the fabric of America. They have spent the last decade trying to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and, failing in that, have taken their fight to state legislatures. That they have succeeded to a degree in maintaining the prejudicial practice of marriage discrimination gives them hope that their position will maintain. I submit that their only real success has been to convince lawmakers (who, we must always remember, care only about re-election and retention of power) that to vote for total homosexual equality would be to vote themselves out of office.Interesting then that a newly released study shows that the number of same-sex couples has increased quintuple-fold since 1990, from 145,000 self-identified “unmarried gay partners” in 1990 to nearly 780,000 today. That is an increase 21 times faster that US population growth in that same period.

Even more interesting is the fact that the largest number of “new gay couples” live in traditionally “conservative” bastions of the nation. The report, issued by The Williams Institute of the UCLA Law Center, shows the biggest increases of self-identified same-sex couples came in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippe, and Tennessee, with a combined increase of 863%. Traditionally conservative mountain states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada) showed an increase of 698%.

Clearly the effects of gay bashing are not having the desired results for the Religious Wrong. In fact, those states that do have laws on the books banning legal acceptance of same-sex couples had larger increases than those states who already formally recognize such unions. From the report:


-From 2000 to 2006, states that banned same-sex marriage had increases in
same-sex couples of 37%, exceeding the national pace of 31%.
-Places that
actually had voter referendums had even larger increases of 41%.
-Places with
no bans had an increase of 27%, below the national average.
states that created formal recognition of same-sex couples had the lowest
average percentage increases in same-sex couples of 23%.

Since it is unlikely that there has been an increase in the number of people born with a predisposition towards homosexuality, one can only assume that public and social acceptance of homosexuality is reaching the point where many gay couples feel confident that “coming out” will not lead to the same kinds of backlash they could have expected to receive not long ago. So despite the vocal noise raised by the hatemongers and religiously bigoted zealots, by and large, the public is embracing the fact that some people are gay and that being gay is no cause for discrimination and no cause for personal fear.

There was a time when being anything but white and male were grounds for discrimination in this country. As the years have progressed we have shed many of those attitudes. Finally, we are at the cusp of shedding one of our last barriers to true equality in America. Those who continue to deny justice to homosexuals are being exposed for what they really are- small-minded, freedom hating, dinosaurs. So while real equality has yet to be achieved, it is wonderful to see that homosexuals are no longer content to hide in the dark shadows. It is even more wonderful to see that many, many Americans are helping them come out by admitting to themselves that sexual orientation is pretty irrelevant after all.

(hat tip to

(cross posted at Bring It On!)