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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Eventually the homophobes will die out, too

Skemono has a nice look at the similarities between anti-miscegenation and anti-gay perspectives and laws. He looks back at polls on interracial dating and finds that it wasn't until 1991 that a plurality of Americans supported the idea, despite 25 years having passed since many of the major civil rights laws were enacted. For a stunning look at how education affects views on differences, check out the 1991 poll breakdown by education.

The latest Pew poll finds that 83% of Americans approve of interracial dating, up 35 percentage points since 1991. The summary has a nice chart showing how each generation has become more accepting, although older generations start out much less tolerant than younger ones and are also slower to adapt.

On gay marriage, opinions are also shifting. Only 39% approved in 2006, but that's up from 29% in August 2004 (ironically, the early 2004 Massachusetts Supreme Court position legalizing gay marriage ignited a higher level of opposition). And as usual, younger folks are much more supportive. Interestingly, the difference in opinion from education is more pronounced among older folks. Those who haven't graduated from college among 20-somethings are almost as likely to support gay marriage as those who have not.

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