Camarriage1justinsullivangetty

Candace Chellew-Hodge reacts to a new marriage equality poll:

While only 29 percent of those polled said they would support same-sex marriage, those numbers shot up 14 percent if assurances were made that by law “no church or congregation would be required to perform marriages for gay couples.” Never mind that no church at this very moment is required to marry anyone, gay or straight; that simple assurance means that 43 percent of all adults and 60 percent of younger adults would suddenly support same-sex marriage.

What level of paranoia and ignorance would lead people to believe that the government could force churches to perform marriages they disapprove of? I guess the kind of paranoia and ignorance advanced by the GOP base. But check out this fascinating story about China and marriage equality. The idea has swiftly taken hold in the country's still vulnerable gay rights movement:

Li's research in cities suggests about 91% of people are happy to work with gay colleagues - a higher rate than in US surveys - and that 30% back gay marriage.

She argues that Chinese culture has historically been more tolerant than others: "We don't have religions which are absolutely against homosexuality, for example. But the pressure to marry is huge - far greater than in the west." Han, 27, thinks her parents know she is a lesbian. "But my mum told me I must have experience of marriage, no matter how long it lasts. I don't think she hopes to change my sexuality, she just thinks my life will be more stable," said the media professional.

If you decouple the notion of "family" from fundamentalist religion, same-sex marriage is revealed as the socially conservative reform it actually is. Wouldn't it be amazing if China got there first?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.