David Coates

Chapter 8: Recent Developments in 2010

Two things to note at the start of 2010

  • The President’s commitment, in the 2010 State of the Union Address, to ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military. He said this. “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It’s the right thing to do.”
  • Consistent public attitudes to gay marriage and gay rights. The Washington Post- ABC News poll in February 2010 found 47% of those polled favoring gay marriage – with 31% feeling that way strongly; but 50% opposed, with 42% feeling that way strongly. A generation gap appeared this poll. Those under 30 strongly favoring the legalization of gay marriage, a majority over 30 opposing the move. Regionally, the legalization of gay marriage found more favor on each coast than in the Midwest and South! (Washington Post, February 12, 2010). The April 2009 poll had produced very similar numbers.

David Coates holds the Worrell Chair in Anglo-American Studies at Wake Forest University. He is the author of Answering Back: Liberal Responses to Conservative Arguments, New York: Continuum Books, 2010.

He writes here in a personal capacity.

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