NYtimes: Same-Sex Marriage Finds Allies in Conservatives of a Certain Age
By MICHAEL WINERIP Published: December 16, 2012
Doug Montzka, a contractor from St. Paul, describes himself as a devout Christian, a very conservative Republican and, only recently, a supporter of same-sex marriage.
He cannot pinpoint the moment he changed sides — his views have evolved, he says — but he does know that five years ago, he never would have voted for it.While he trusts most everything in the Bible and knows that Leviticus condemns homosexuality as an abomination, “there’s no other reason I can think it’s wrong except the Bible,” he said.
“I’ve coached youth sports for years and had a few kids with gay parents,” said Mr. Montzka, 53. “As far as I’m concerned, if it works for them, it’s O.K. with me.”
While he worries that society could be changing too rapidly, he also sees changes for the better. “My brother married a black girl, and that worked out great for them,” said Mr. Montzka, who is white. “You’d never see that 50 years ago.”
He believes that his business dealings with gay couples would be simpler if they were married. “I’ve had cases,” he said, “where it’s one telling me the other one is supposed to be paying the bill.”
The ultimate decision maker was his conservative distrust of government interference in people’s private lives. “If I’m going to make a mistake,” he said, “it’s on the side of less government.”
On many fronts, Mr. Montzka’s change of heart reflects what opinion and exit polls have been showing in recent years: a sharp increase in support for same-sex marriage in a short time among every age group, including the biggest voting group, the baby boomers.
In a Pew Research poll taken at the end of October, 49 percent favored same-sex marriage, versus 37 percent in 2009.
In that period, according to Pew, support among baby boomers (ages 48 to 66) has grown to 41 percent from 32 percent; among seniors (over age 67) to 33 percent from 23 percent; among Generation X (ages 32 to 47) to 51 percent from 41 percent; and among millennials (ages 18 to 31) to 64 percent from 51 percent.
The shift in attitude has been reflected recently in the courts and at the ballot box. On Dec. 7, the Supreme Court agreed to review two cases related to same-sex marriage. In Washington State, same-sex marriage became legal on Dec. 6. It will become legal in Maine on Dec. 29 and in Maryland on Jan. 1.One reason behind the surge is evident from both opinion polls and interviews for this article: there is a marked increase in the number of people of all ages who know gay men and lesbians. Comment: more accurately, an increase of people who are aware they know...( Collapse )Mods: Sorry about the lack of LJ cut the first time I tried to submit this; I realized shortly after but couldn't figure out how to edit something in the submission queue. Submitting again 'cause I still can't figure out how to edit the original.