In 1996, when the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, only 5% of Americans lived in a place that had any legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples. Sixteen years later, that number is poised to become a majority—currently hovering at 48%. The ground has shifted substantially under our feet, and the country is now approaching a tipping point for the first time in history.
This report quantifies that tipping point, documenting 4 major changes in just the past year that demonstrate the swiftness of our country’s evolution in both policy and politics—and illustrate this unique moment as we begin to cross the threshold on a variety of measures:
The number of Americans living in places that recognize gay couples is quickly approaching a majority.
This year may be the first time marriage wins at the ballot.
Democrats are now unifying behind marriage for gay couples.
The Republican Party is warming and is now where Democrats were ten years ago.
If our country continues to move forward at this pace, it is likely that within the next decade marriage for gay couples will be a reality—not a debate—across the nation.