February 2, 2024

Why Do People Care About Gay Marriage?

When the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that gay couples have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples, it was a major milestone on the path to equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQI+) people. But it isn’t the end of the story. Despite a growing acceptance of LGBTI+ rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage in many states, there are still some who oppose these changes. Why? A new study reveals that people who oppose gay marriage may have very real concerns.

A recent study by a UCLA psychology graduate student finds that some people who oppose same-sex marriage believe that homosexuals are more sexually promiscuous than heterosexuals, and they worry that their own marriages could be threatened. These findings are important because they show that a significant minority of opponents to same-sex marriage have specific concerns about gay men and women’s behavior, and these concerns appear to be driving their opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Nevertheless, a survey conducted by the Williams Institute found that most LGBTQ people see the fight for marriage equality as primarily an issue of equality. The survey interviewed 99 LGBTQ people from cities across the country and asked them what their experiences were since the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v Hodges. While a few participants did criticize marriage as an institution or the movement’s decision to prioritize it, most described how the decision had personally changed them. This equality-focused view was disproportionately shared by Black and Latinx participants.

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