I can’t help but feel giddy. A new Pew Research study shows that supporters of gay marriage finally outnumber opponents. I’m actually not surprised; every time I turn on the news there is another celebrity, corporation, politician or organization coming out in support of gay marriage.
Yesterday it was the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is American parents’ trusted “go-to” group for guidance on all things kid and family related. As a parent, when you want to know quickly and confidently what’s best for your child, you take the advice of the AAP. You know that the advice has been thoroughly researched as well as followed by thousands of parents before you. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a disagreement about child rearing solved by a quick google search of the topic, followed by an announcement that “The American Academy of Pediatrics says that…” and then the backing down of the party in disagreement. The Authority has spoken and that’s that. In short, whatever the AAP says, goes.
So, as far as parents across the nation are concerned, gay marriage has just earned the stamp of approval: It’s good for the kids. And that’s that. In fact, according to the Academy’s statement, “same-sex marriage helps guarantee rights, benefits and long-term security for children, while acknowledging that it does not now ensure access to federal benefits.”
The AAP cited a handful of recent studies showing that children raised by gay or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive and social functioning as peers raised by heterosexuals, and that marriage “strengthens families and benefits child development” because it “increases a parent’s sense of competence and security when they are able to raise children without stigma,” according to the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study.
The AAP may be the most recent but it is certainly not the only impressive boost of support the movement has gained in recent weeks. On February 27th, 200 corporations (including giants Microsoft, Google and Citigroup) signed onto an amicus brief in support of overturning DOMA. For businesses, it is less about the well being of children and more about equality of their employees and fairness of HR practices. DOMA restricts spouses of gay employees from receiving the healthcare and retirement benefits enjoyed by their straight counterparts and businesses are fed up with the discrepancies.
Then on March 7th, Bill Clinton wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post arguing that the bill that he personally signed into law 17 years ago is discriminatory and should be overturned. And just the other day Hillary announced the “evolution” of her views into full support of gay marriage as well.
But it’s not just democrats. Several republicans have signed onto briefs encouraging the Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8 and DOMA. Republican Senator Rob Portman recently announced that, after years of opposition, he now supports same-sex marriage. He credits his own gay son with helping to change his mind. He’s not alone. Twenty-eight percent of current gay marriage supporters used to be opponents, according to the Pew poll and the most popular reason for the change of heart is knowing someone gay.
So the time is now. The Supreme Court hears Prop 8 and DOMA cases next week and with the outpouring of support nationwide, I am starting to feel pretty confident about a positive outcome. The days of marriage inequality will soon be over.
And that’s that.