So same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. And though most of the reaction is favorable, there’s still this:
All the GOP hopefuls noted their personal objection to same-sex marriage and their belief that marriage should be left to the states. But while some firebrands — led by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — issued strong statements urging conservatives to fight, others, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, issued more muted statements.
The different reactions underscore the tough challenge facing Republican candidates in a deep field; namely, how to appeal to a conservative base that strongly opposes same-sex marriage without alienating a general-election audience that largely supports it.
Legality doesn’t immediately translate to acceptance. And acceptance is going to take a while. Don’t forget, we’ve done this before:
U.S States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws:
Gray: No laws passed
Green: Repealed before 1887
Yellow: Repealed from 1948 to 1967
Red: Overturned on 12 June 1967
Anti-miscegenation laws: If you’re one race, you can’t marry someone of another race.
Mixed-race marriages used to be against the law. On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court changed that in its Loving v. Virginia, ruling, which came after a white man and black woman who married in Washington, D.C., were arrested after they returned home to Virginia.
That Supreme Court decision was unanimous, but unanimity didn’t equate with approval:
In 1967, when the Supreme Court issued its ruling, fewer than 20 percent of Americans approved of interracial marriage.
The majority of Americans not only disapproved, they also were spiteful in their rejection of the concept:
Now we come to 2015. This past April, a poll was taken on same-sex marriage, and this was the result:
A record-high 6 in 10 Americans support same-sex marriage and a similar share say individual states should not be allowed to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
So look at it this way: Although the Supreme Court ruled this past week in favor of same sex marriage in a narrow 5-4 vote, Americans approval of such unions is above 60 percent. When the Supreme Court ruled unanimously for mixed race marriages in 1967, the approval rating for such unions didn’t reach 60 percent until 1997, 30 years later.
Same sex marriage today is in a much stronger position despite its weaker court majority.