How the Marriage Equality Shift Happened: It’s All About the Grassroots Action

 

A few days ago I was listening to the radio nonstop on the issue of same-sex marriage, not necessarily for the play-by-play of the justices’ reactions but for some of the commentary, which, for once, was very interesting. One of the things that was being discussed was the fact that in many cases, even though such matters are treated as issues of law, cultural mores and public sentiment definitely factor into the considerations of the court on issues of human and civil rights.

What it has taken to shift the culture around same-sex marriage and civil and human rights in general has been an enormously personal endeavor that should teach us a lot about how to move a society from one emotional – and then legal – stance to another.

This article from John Hoffman today discusses what forms grassroots action has taken in this tender realm, and his observations are profound. Let us know how you think the lessons learned can or are being translated and used in other social movements.

Meanwhile, the other day I was talking with a relative who said that he was riding by a public building on the first day that same-sex marriages were allowed in his state; and although he never was in favor, he said the sight of all the happy couples shifted him, just like that.

It’s amazing what empathy can do once the barricades of fear are taken down.