same sex marriage

Gay marriage is now legal throughout the United States, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling. This was welcomed by a majority of Americans, but totally unexpected.

Sometimes change tiptoes up and surprises you. There could be no better illustration of America’s dramatic week than the White House lit up in rainbow colours as the confederate flag was lowered in the south. ….

The most durable changes usually come from below. That is the case with gay marriage. Opponents of last week’s Supreme Court ruling claim it amounted to “legislating from the bench”, much as in 1973 when the court legalised abortion in Roe v Wade. In fact, the Supreme Court was putting its seal on what has been a vertiginous shift in US society. A decade ago, more than two-thirds of Americans opposed same sex marriage. Now roughly 60 per cent support it. Even before last week’s ruling it was legal in 38 states. Only in 2012 did Mr Obama feel bold enough to add his own backing and then only because Joe Biden, the vice-president, let slip his support. Mr Obama has not played a big role in the gay rights revolution. But he has ridden the wave well.

Edward Luce, “Barack Obama’s presidential renaissance“, Financial Times, 29 June 2015.

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