Why Gay Rights are progressing so rapidly

Is our society becoming more just and humanitarian, more tolerant, more enlightened, more rational? Perhaps, to some degree.
But I suspect that one of the biggest reasons that we have seen such a dramatic advance in the rights of LGBT persons is that it is supported by and not threatening to the bottom line interests of our Oligarchical Overlords. E.g., The Koch brothers are in favor of Gay marriage rights.
This idea hit home with me, when I recently saw the ultraconservative governor of Wisconsin, (and infamous Koch Bro kiss ass), Scott Walker, essentially muzzled on the topic when asked by a reporter about Gay marriage. Walker looked like it was eating him up inside, but he refused to say one way or another what he thought about it.

Is our society becoming more just and humanitarian, more tolerant, more enlightened, more rational? Perhaps, to some degree. But I suspect that one of the biggest reasons that we have seen such a dramatic advance in the rights of LGBT persons is that it is supported by and not threatening to the bottom line interests of our Oligarchical Overlords. E.g., The Koch brothers are in favor of Gay marriage rights. This idea hit home with me, when I recently saw the ultraconservative governor of Wisconsin, (and infamous Koch Bro kiss ass), Scott Walker, essentially muzzled on the topic when asked by a reporter about Gay marriage. Walker looked like it was eating him up inside, but he refused to say one way or another what he thought about it.
I suppose many LGBT activists would disagree with you on the "rapidly" part. It's been at least a 30+ year battle. As for the Kochs, I can't believe they would support Gay Rights unless it meant something to tem financially. And then only because they could benefit financially, not because it's the right thing. My own opinion is that it took celebrities to move things along. Let's face it, the US is a cult of the personality, and that's why celebs are so central to our culture. And many of them have pushed for this in ways not so obvious, for example, just recently, in the HBO film about Liberace. That's Douglas and Damon doing something pro-gay rights that isn't overt like a march. And I think stuff like that is very effective over the long haul.

I think it is happening because of multiple shifts in our culture and circumstances. The only real opposition to gay rights is religiously motivated. We don’t threaten libertarians or capitalists as you pointed out. There is also a major shift occurring in respect to age. The young are far less anti-gay. It is also becoming clear that being seen as on the wrong side of history has economic consequences as well. The civil rights movement is still resent history and the anti-gay lobby is repeating the same old arguments they used to fight desegregation and mixed race marriage.
There is also the trend of people moving away from organized religion. I think this last trend is also creating a feedback loop in reaction to the way religions in America appear to be less and less “Christian”, and more and more aligned with hate speech and intolerant bigotry. In attacking gays and women’s rights so vehemently, they are morphing Christianity into a somthing that looks more and more like a hate group. Moderate people still want to embrace the values that used to be defined as Christian, but do not want to align themselves with those who have hijacked Chritianity for their own narrow and bigoted ends.
I feel that these trends are not actually going to move most people away from theism. I think we will see a growing majority of secular theists who shun any traditional organized religious identity. I also think they will leave religious literalism behind and embrace science. But there will always be fundamentalist religious nuts on the fringes.
I am not claiming any real scientific proof of my assertions. This is just my very un-scientific gut feeling.

Public opinion has essentially reversed, just in the last 4 or 5 years, on LBGT rights. I think that must mean that the shift, primarily, came from the conservative camp. My guess is that the powers, that be, realized it is not a battle worth fighting. It does not negatively effect profit making. And why alienate LGBT persons who might be of a conservative bent, as doing so is, is a waste of resources and potential support?
HandyDan, I think that your ideas about this are also relevant, but I wonder about the opinion shift that has occurred so recently. I suspect that there must now be a strong, politically active, element of the economically elite who are either LGBT themselves, or who have close familial or other strong emotional ties to LGBT persons.

It has always been a fad to support the underdog and when it became a fad to “come out” the rich and famous did. Then the moneychangers said, “Wow, there’s money in those sparkly rainbow hats!” and started making the move to tolerance. Clout is clout.
Now, up next in the freedom to be who we are… atheists! We just need a logo that everyone will wear. If you can’t make a fashion statement with it, it will never go.
(thinking; silvery brain inside static ball sparking off electric blue lightening bolts… free thinking)
:slight_smile:

...If you can't make a fashion statement with it, it will never go.
Sad but completely true. Plus what you said earlier...Clout is Clout, which is one reason I think celebs can and do play an important part. Bono comes to mind...he's got the visibility and the money which equals clout.

I believe we, especially young people, have their opinions formed by what they hear and see on the radio, television, and movies. I my early days there were whispers about some movie star being gay, but you never heard a song or saw a program where anyone was overtly homosexual. Now, it’s amazing (to me as an old fud) how often one sees two people of the same sex kissing on TV. The same goes for heterosexual couples naked in bed with only a sheet over them, and apparently having sex, as well of constant discussions of it. In twenty years I think the kids then will be laughing at the idea of anyone bothering to watch pornography by itself, since such activities (hetero and homosexual) will be a standard part of TV. Damn, it’s difficult realizing that I was born 80 years too soon. :lol:
Of course, much of this may be a plot of the oligarchs to keep us occupied as they take over society.
And, Lee, I think the day of atheism is already on its way. Two examples off-hand are Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory and Bones on the show where she’s a forensic anthropologist. In both cases the most intelligent character is an atheist.
Occam

... Of course, much of this may be a plot of the oligarchs to keep us occupied as they take over society... Occam
I don't think the oligarchs need to plot or expend much energy to keep the masses distracted. We can do that pretty much naturally on our own. Of course, if needed, they might give a little nudge, here or there. It doesn't take much.

I may be able to offer some insight into this as a person who is gay. First, I absolutely agree that LGBT rights are progressing very rapidly relative to the past. I am only 27 years old and just 10 years ago when I was graduating high school “same sex marriage” seemed like a quixotic joke (spare Vermont and maybe a couple of other states such as Mass, but those were the exception). Also, 10 years ago we can recall being under the very conservative rule of President George Bush and I personally felt most “liberal or progressive” causes or considerations were pushed to the side. Also, the political and world climate, at the time, was very focused on events such as 9/11 and many domestic subjects just were not going to make it to the political table at that time, in my opinion. In addition, as someone stated above, many of the underpinnings of opposing equal rights and treatment for all people, particularly gay people is rooted in some religious belief. When I look at the trends, there is a growing number of younger people in this (new to me) category termed “unaffiliated,” meaning they are not religious nor are they actively an atheist, they merely do not “believe” in a religion or attach themselves to any label (atheist or otherwise). I view the “unaffiliated” category as a newer form of what I’ll call “default atheism”–we’re born not believing anything (we learn religion through teaching and society); a lot of young people probably do not feel the need to even adopt the label of “atheist” as they view non-belief or “un-affiliation” with a religion as they default human state and no further discussion is needed. Perhaps this stems from enough scientific evidence to lead one to more readily dis-identify (never identify) with a religion in the first place. Ultimately, when religion is removed from the equation, my personal belief is that there is little impetus for opposing gay rights. In addition, there are also many churches that support gays in my area, so even some religions are progressing. In previous generations, saying you were gay was a huge shocker, in my generation, when people find out, it’s a non-issue and they simply befriend me and get on with the conversation and treat me the same.

Finally, Thanks for your input. Only one thing you said I would like to expound on. You said"…we’re born not believing anything (we learn religion through teaching and society…" I think that it is important to recognize that we are born, geared to think superstitiously in our early development. I think that we are predisposed towards religiosity, if we do not learn better somewhere along the way. I think that religions tend to exploit this predisposition by getting to us early. Some of us develop beyond the childish superstitious stage, in spite of this. Some never develop.
The growing number of people who describe themselves as unaffiliated, may be recognizing, at least on a subconscious level, that religion is ridiculous.

Speaking as a Millennial, I agree with posters who posit that celebrity influence has made a difference, and the concept that gays have money to spend - so that makes them valuable.
There are different aspects to gay rights/gay acceptance, though. Regarding gay marriage, I have wondered if the fact that marriage is a dying institution in our society, has influenced the acceptance of gay marriage…this is totally true for me (and quite a few other millennials); if marriage itself was still seen as very important by my generation, I probably would not have voted for gay marriage in my state.
Another issue is the difference between gay acceptance and gay affection. Accepting gays doesn’t necessarily lead to liking them or respecting them, and many millennials are not above making fun of gays, or preferring the company of straights.
Is acceptance better than respect? We have to “accept” stomach cancer. :-/

How many of your millennials make fun about the sexual behavior of heterosexuals?
Can your millennials differentiate between a gay person who hasn’t declared him/herself and doesn’t demonstrate “flaming” behavior and a heterosexual who doesn’t act flaky?
We all have a wide range of behaviors, most of which our friends and co-workers do not know of and would not be interested in: Everything from how many sheets of toilet paper do we use per wipe, our teeth brushing stroke routine, our bedroom behavior, etc. We all know and care about only a small amount of the myriad behaviors that make up people. So, as I’ve asked before, unless you or your friends are hoping to develop a sexual relation with someone, why on earth would you be interested in or even consider anyone’s hetero- or homo-sexual activities?
Occam

How many of your millennials make fun about the sexual behavior of heterosexuals?
Hardly ever, unless they act gay.
Can your millennials differentiate between a gay person who hasn't declared him/herself and doesn't demonstrate "flaming" behavior and a heterosexual who doesn't act flaky?
Most of the time, yes. It's commonly referred to as "gaydar" and its a real thing. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/opinion/sunday/the-science-of-gaydar.html?_r=0
We all have a wide range of behaviors, most of which our friends and co-workers do not know of and would not be interested in: Everything from how many sheets of toilet paper do we use per wipe, our teeth brushing stroke routine, our bedroom behavior, etc. We all know and care about only a small amount of the myriad behaviors that make up people. So, as I've asked before, unless you or your friends are hoping to develop a sexual relation with someone, why on earth would you be interested in or even consider anyone's hetero- or homo-sexual activities? Occam
Sexuality determines a large part of how we behave - whether you like or not.

Apologies for bringing back an old thread. I read a great perspective and am paraphrasing someone on this very topic:
The reason gays are likely progressing faster than other groups is because they are really the only minority, with exception of women, who are born into families of “the opposition.” For example, a racist probably isn’t going to suddenly have a black baby. Essentially, when someone you love is also the thing you initially opposed, it has a way of breaking down barriers, in many cases at least. Gays can pop up anywhere–your child, sibling, cousin, childhood best friend or coworker. A racial minority, for example, is likely kept at quite a distance from the beginning, so they’re not going to be in your house and if you’re a racist, you probably wouldn’t ever truly befriend the race you dislike, so there may never be a chance to “love” that person and be forced to address old hangups.

On the marriage front, the simple fact is there are no credible legal arguments in support of a ban on gay marriage which would survive a challenge under the Equal Rights Amendment as it has been construed by the courts. The Supreme Court would have to hold such bans constitutional for that to change.

On the marriage front, the simple fact is there are no credible legal arguments in support of a ban on gay marriage which would survive a challenge under the Equal Rights Amendment as it has been construed by the courts. The Supreme Court would have to hold such bans constitutional for that to change.
Do we have an Equal Rights Amendment? Lois
On the marriage front, the simple fact is there are no credible legal arguments in support of a ban on gay marriage which would survive a challenge under the Equal Rights Amendment as it has been construed by the courts. The Supreme Court would have to hold such bans constitutional for that to change.
Do we have an Equal Rights Amendment? Lois Yikes. Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, I should say. Wishful thinking on the Equal Rights Amendment, perhaps.