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Friday, July 1, 2005

A Majority of Spaniards…

Posted by on July 1 at 9:26 AM

When gay marriage is discussed in American papers or on cable news, the fact that a majority of Americans oppose gay marriage is always trotted out as some sort of conversation-stopper. If a majority of Americans are against it, commentators and guests state or imply, then gay marriage is not only a nonstarter, it must not be a Good Thing. After all, if the collective wisdom of the noble American people comes down on the “no” side, why even discuss the topic? (Note: a majority of Americans support gay marriage or civil unions; only a third of Americans oppose any legal recognition of gay relationships.)

The problem with this, of course, is that a majority of Americans have been wrong about civil rights issues in the pasthell, a majority of Americans is almost always wrong. A majority of Americans were wrong about slavery, wrong about giving the vote to women, wrong about the civil rights movement, wrong about interning the Japanese, and on and on.

Well, Spain has become the third country to legalize gay marriageCatholic Spain. Or, I should say, not-so-Catholic-anymore Spain. And guess what? A majority of Spaniards support gay marriage: 55-65 percent. Read about it here. Here’s the funny thing, though: The same Americans who want the wisdom of average Americans honored when it comes to gay marriage in the United States (a majority opposes it in the polls, so it’s off!) won’t extend the same respect to the wisdom of the average Spaniard. The fact that a sane, progressive, liberal majority of Spaniards supports gay marriage hardly gets a mention, much less the deference or respect that the nutso, conservative majority in America gets.