Responses to the three questions on p. 32 of my book

Q1. Examine the Pew data above.  What bearing does this have upon the audience that Matthew Vines is addressing?  How do you account for the fact that White Evangelical Protestants manifest the strongest antagonism to same-sex marriages?  How do you account for the fact that religiously unaffiliated Americans manifest the strongest support for same-sex marriages?



Q2.  How do you account for the fact that acceptance of same-sex marriages continues to slowly rise in all the categories polled?  Why is it that the current younger generation (20-29 years of age) in all categories demonstrates significantly higher levels of support for same-sex marriages than do their parents (40-55 years of age)?



Q3. My personal mentor, Dr. Michael Polanyi,1 was fond of noticing that “every belief works in the eyes of the believer.”  Dr. Terry Sejnowski2 takes this one step further: “Just because everyone believes in an explanation does not make it true.  It sometimes takes a full generation for a commonly held [mistaken] belief to be flushed from a community.”  This is certainly true for the social and religious stigma against interracial marriages and against interfaith marriages.  Can this also be true of same-sex marriages?  If so, why so?





1 Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge

2 Terrence J. Sejnowski, The Deep Learning Revolution (The MIT Press) p. 271.

The coming out experience

For lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people, realizing their sexual orientation or gender identity and sharing that information with family and friends is often a gradual process that can unfold over a series of years. This section looks at the process of coming out—when and how it happens, how difficult it is, and what impact it has on relationships.

The vast majority of LGBT respondents (86%) say they have told one or more close friends about their sexual orientation or gender identity. And some 54% say all or most of the important people in their life know that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

There are large differences here across LGB groups. Lesbians and gay men are more likely than bisexuals to have told at least one close friend about their sexual orientation (96% of gay men and 94% of lesbians, compared with 79% of bisexuals). And they are much more likely to say that most of the people who are important to them know about this aspect of their life: 77% of gay men and 71% of lesbians say all or most people know, compared with 28% of bisexuals.

This section also explores the interactions LGBT adults have outside of their circles of family and close friends—in their communities and workplaces. Some seek out neighborhoods that are predominantly LGBT, but most do not. A majority of employed LGBT adults say their workplaces are accepting of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Still, about half say only a few or none of their co-workers know about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ultimately, these journeys are personal and hard to quantify. Survey respondents were invited to elaborate on their experiences, and many of their stories are captured in an interactive feature on the Pew Research Center website.

Click here to view this important topic on the Pew Research Center site.

Those who want to interact with this blog are invited to “Leave a Reply” below.  A solid way to begin doing this is to offer “readback lines.”  To do this, quickly glace back over the entire blog and pick out the one or two lines that have made a deep impression upon you.  Copy them [CTRL-C] and then paste them [CTRL-V] into an empty comment box below.  If you wish, signal the emotion that you feel when reading your readback lines.  The primary emotions are anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise.   No need to further explain yourself.  It is enough to identify the text important to you and to name the emotion(s) that it evokes.  All of this normally takes less than a few minutes.

I and others will “thank you” for your contribution.  If you are tempted to say more, I urge you to hold back.  Your sense of safety and the safety of others is best protected by not getting overly wordy in the beginning.  This will come after a few days or weeks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Leave a Reply~~~~~~~~