It’s funny, but whenever gay marriage comes up, the religious tend to say that most people are grossed out by gay sex and that Americans would never accept polygamy, another thing they are supposedly grossed out by, therefore they should never accept gay marriage.
Except Americans are increasingly fine with polygamy. Most people just don’t care. In a recent Gallup poll, we find that 16% of Americans support polygamy, up 9 points from 2001. Now if you remember back to the beginning of the gay marriage debate, it started out similarly, with an ever-increasing number of people coming to look upon it favorably, until today when a majority of Americans have no problems with it at all.
But don’t tell the religious. They seem to think that reality is something other than what it actually is.
Now while I’m socially moderate in a lot of ways, I believe in equality for all and keeping the government the hell out of people’s lives and especially their bedrooms, I think some of these societal shifts can be a bit problematic. Most of the elements in the poll really affects no one but those personally involved. If two gay people get married, who cares? It harms no one. If a group of people get together and have an orgy, what difference does it make? It has no real consequences to the surrounding community. But there are some things, like the increased acceptance of out-of-wedlock children, that I do think affect someone, in this case the child, especially if it results in single parenthood. Children do much better in a two-parent household than in a single-parent household. We know this. It doesn’t matter if the parents are both male, both female or one of each, a two-parent household is infinitely superior. It tends to lead to increased poverty, especially among the already poor, where some estimates already place single-parenthood above 70%. I have a problem with that.
But where I have no problems are things like stem cell research, cloning, suicide and abortion, all of which are rising in acceptance. Again, they don’t hurt anyone not directly involved and ultimately help society as a whole. I don’t know that this represents a shift to the left, necessarily, but a shift away from religious morality into something that actually helps society, not impresses an imaginary friend in the sky. And that’s generally a good thing.