Associated Press Notes “Societal Shift” on LGBT Issues

AP reports that the public opinion on a variety of LGBT issues has undergone a major leftward shift

On February 2, the Associated Press wire service published a story contending that the nation’s public opinion on a variety of LGBT issues has undergone a major leftward shift in the past 17 years since Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the official policy banning LGBT folks from serving openly in the military, was first instituted.

To bolster its argument, the AP pointed to a list of landmark or historical cultural events, including the following: President Obama’s signing last year of hate crimes legislation, marking the first time any US federal law has criminalized anti-gay violence in and of itself as a federal crime; the fact that several states, namely Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont and the District of Columbia, have adopted laws permitting same-sex marriage; the fact that a handful of other states, including contested sites California, Maine and New Jersey, now offer varying degrees of gay domestic partnership rights; and the fact that the U.S. census is now for the first time attempting to tally figures about the number of gay couples who live together.

For more context, the AP also pointed to a 2009 Pew poll showing that 59 percent
of Americans favor allowing lesbians and gay men to serve openly in the military — up from 54 percent in 1994 — and cited what it termed  an overall movement amongst international military forces to allow LGBT people to serve. It is not clear if this gay-friendly public attitude as percieved by AP will translate into a Congressional repeal of DADT; we can only keep our fingers crossed.

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