On Gay Marriage and Gay Friends

Written by

Monica Gray
Monica Gray Monica Gray is the video correspondent for the Diplomatic Courier. In this role she conducts exclusive interviews with key diplomatic players and produces mini-documentaries on pressing issues of the day. Monica holds a masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Virginia's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and a BA in American Studies, also from the University of Virginia. You can check out more of her work on http://www.diplomaticourier.com and follow her on Twitter @MonicaNGray.

Did you know that the growth of support for same-sex marriage over the past ten years represents one the largest changes in public opinion on any policy issue over this time period? Back in 2003 more than half (58%) of Americans opposed gay marriage, whereas today less than half (44%) oppose it.

As my Facebook feed began to turn red with friends showing support for gay marriage before the Supreme Court embarked on its historic Prop 8 and DOMA cases, I found it encouraging to see firsthand so many friends voicing their opinion on the issue.

Curious to hear from someone who would potentially feel a direct impact from the SCOTUS rulings, I asked a close gay friend what he thought of it all. “I view gay marriage as totally valid for others, but I’m Catholic, so I’m not planning to marry,” he said. “I guess the biggest thing for me is just equal rights under the law and greater acceptance in society.”

I think that makes sense, in a way. After all, acceptance of gay marriage falls under the wider umbrella of acceptance of all gay citizens, period. This got me thinking about a series of interviews I’d conducted with dozens of gay men at DC’s Capital Pride Parade in 2011. When I asked them, “what’s hard about being a guy, and being gay?” marriage equality was one of a host of issues they raised (but not necessarily the primary issue).

As the nation’s attention is focused on gay marriage this week, it’s important to ask ourselves how can we show support for our gay neighbors beyond simply posting a red equality image on social media. How can we make known not just our support of their right to marry, but also our support and acceptance, more generally, of them?