Homophobia is a constant concern for LGBTQ groups. Different cultures have different stands on the issue, especially if such societies are more inclined to follow previous societal norms from their ancestors. Many countries have raised different perspectives on the issue of gay marriage, including the belief that it is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Religious groups also have different opinions on the union of same-sex partners. At the height of it all, people’s opinions about gay marriage and same-sex unions have changed over the past decades.
In the United States alone, biases and negative thinking about gay marriage continue to trail the LGBTQ rights movement. However, according to the Psychology Today page, the bias against same-sex unions experienced a decline when same-sex marriage was made legal on the federal level. People who associated being gay as bad became more accepting, due to the fact that legal changes were made in order to give equal rights to the members of the LGTBQ community.
When institutions are able to guide their people who see what is acceptable and what is not, perspectives change. Laws have made it possible for people to be aware of what people should do and how one should view things. In the case of same-sex marriage, policy changes have made it possible for society to also change its opinions and biases regarding the issue. There might be some form of backlash, but respected institutions like the Supreme Court can make it possible to initiate change. This occurrence truly bettered the lives of the members of the gay community.
Changing People’s Perspectives
Several studies have been conducted on the effects of legalizing same-sex marriage. It’s true that there has been a decline in anti-gay bias, and much of the change happened only when the law was passed.
One particular study, as stated on the Pacific Standard page, analyzed data from 10,000 participants in the American National Election Studies. People were asked about their feelings toward members of the LGBTQ from different periods, starting from 2008 to 2016. By the time that same-sex marriage was already allowed and found to be legal, most people said they had favorable attitudes towards it. These feels were considerably affected by the passage of the law. With the government’s acceptance of same-sex partnerships, more and more people civilians became accepting of it, too.
However, this is not without some exceptions. In some states in the US, there have been increased anti-gay perceptions, especially in those where gay unions have yet to be made legal. Conservative states are more inclined to follow and preserve the lifestyles they grew up with, and such unions are views as a threat to their way of living. Though this may be an exception, it is still very evident that laws have made it possible for people to accept same-sex unions fully or at least in part.
Effects on the Society
The United States is only one country. Other countries are still on the verge of discussing the legalization of same-sex marriages. Some countries in Asia, whose cultures and traditions are very much intact and given high regard, are beginning to change their views on the whole LGBTQ movement. In particular, Taiwan is beginning to look at legalizing same-sex unions, the first country to do so in Asia. Some people say that this is a big step towards accepting gay rights as equal to human rights, while others still have a divided opinion about it. Attitudes can change depending on how a government or a legal institution views certain occurrences, as mentioned on the Inverse page.
So, how did gay marriage change the scene? It’s true that the world is moving towards being more accepting and unifying. As equality is viewed mainly as a right rather than a privilege, more and more people are finding it easier to accept differences and challenges. Even if there is a possibility that some people will still not be in favor of laws being passed, such as gay marriage, it is not unusual for them to accept these unions once they see them as a norm in their society.
Society changes all the time. In the past, women were not allowed the right of suffrage. In ancient times, they were also viewed as a group that should just stay home and not meddle with politics or even academics. However, societal thinking is malleable. What could be unacceptable before can still find a way to be perceived as normal in the future. Although there are obvious exceptions like criminal activity and punishment, more and more people are beginning to understand how the LGBTQ movement is making society more accepting of the differences and the rights of all types of people. In the end, it’s up to the institutions to initiate change.