A reader writes:
I think a few things are at work here. First is what you noticed yesterday, that people with openly gay friends and family members are probably more likely to support gay marriage than people who are not knowingly close to gays. That is how I ended up on this side of the issue.
10 years ago I would have been dead set against even informal domestic partnerships, much like what NYC had under Giuliani. Now, I support allowing gays to marry (not civil unions, marriage). What changed? My cousin not only came out, but she "married" and her partner had a child. And I saw that she had a family much like the one I wanted. And her "marriage" which is still refused state sanction, is stronger than the marriages of siblings.
I think that as people see what happens in places like New Hampshire (where the state legalized it without the threat of lawsuit or a Court direction), they will realize that it is not so bad.
As for people viewing morality, I think that it comes down to this -- there are lots of things I view as immoral but would otherwise not make illegal (and I admit I find certain things I do immoral). I also think people have in mind the 1970s disco era homosexual "scene", with drag queens having sex on 5th Avenue. As people see that most gays want the same things the rest of us want (a stable home, a family, a spouse happy to see you after work and kids shouting DADDY! when you walk through the door) much of the opposition will continue to disappear.
(Photo: Anne Latl and Rosa DeJesus get sworn in by town clerk, Donna Loglisci, before being granted a civil union at Stamford town hall October 1, 2005 in Stamford, Connecticut. By Stephen Chernin/Getty Images.)