Demographics and LGBT Health
By Gary J. Gates
The 2012 U.S. presidential election saw, for the first time, the election of a major party candidate who publicly supported same-sex couples’ right to marry. Exit polling from that election found that 49 percent of voters supported legal marriage for same-sex couples in their states, compared with 46 percent who opposed. Furthermore, voters for the first time explicitly endorsed marriage rights for same-sex couples by solid majorities in three states. Contrast this emerging support for same-sex couples with the fact that, since 1998, 30 states have enacted constitutional amendments to limit marriage to different-sex couples. The topic of same-sex couples and their status in U.S. society remains a highly visible and contentious policy debates.
*Article originally published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior (March 2103).