Who Really Changed People’s Minds about Marriage Equality

I’m really grateful at how quickly marriage equality is being accepted as the right thing to do – even large corporations. You hear quite a bit of “astonishment” at how quickly attitudes have changed.

Why have attitudes changed?

Those in the 19 to 30 year old age range who so strongly support marriage equality came of age with the first GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) organizations in high schools. It took a lot of courage to be in those organizations in the early days, but many young people simply recognised that discrimination based on sexual preference was wrong.

From my experience, the GSAs in my schools weren’t as big a deal  as one might expect. Even better, the kids involved made themselves visible. They wore purple, they had wrist bands, they put up posters, they met. The only people who really had issues were some teachers.

The GSA kids made it not okay to  say “fag”, and they were very vocal about it. The kids who called people “fags” for the most part did so unthinkingly. Once other kids made them think about it, they stopped.

High school kids get involved in lots of social issues. I did. However, one of the most important lessons you learn at that age is that change isn’t all that easy, that compromise and setbacks are part of the deal.

However, gay rights are pretty straight forward. It was so obviously wrong to deny them.

I have no research to support my opinion, but from my perspective, if you want to know why attitudes towards marriage equality have changed so quickly, you can thank that generation of 14 to 18 year olds who organized GSAs in high school back in the 2000s.

Their attitudes turned infectious and their parents and grand parents got the message.


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