Monday, May 27, 2013

The Decline and Fall of Civil Unions

It used to be that progressive states offered their LGBT citizens civil unions, while the conservatives offered nothing. But now, people who favor civil unions are far more likely to identify as conservatives. The moderates and liberals overwhelmingly prefer marriage equality. 
The civil union option has moved from being a middle way dominated by political moderates a decade ago to one that is, today, most attractive to political conservatives. And looking ahead, there is evidence that the civil union option may have a limited future, at least if younger Americans are any indication. When given a three-way choice, civil unions are the least popular option among Millennials (Americans born after 1980). Only slightly more than 1-in-10 (13%) Millennials prefer civil unions, while 67% say they support allowing gay and lesbian people to marry, and 15% oppose any legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.


JCF said...

It's possible that, if conservatives had joined moderates and liberals in supporting CUs ten years ago, then CUs would be the dominant way of affirming same-sex partnerships today.

But conservatives said "Nada!" to same-sex couples then, and same-sex couples then decided that, if we were going to have to FIGHT for our rights, only FULL marriage equality would do.

Conservative support for CUs today appears as so much grudging, rear-guard contemptuous compromise. Too little, MUCH too late. Fuhgeddaboutit!

IT said...

You are right-- this all would have stopped at civil unions if they had "sold them" but they made it clear they wanted us to be completely devalued. And they made us militant as a result.

JCF said...

On the other hand, for CUs to stand, they STILL would have had to get rid of DOMA, or we would keep fighting.