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Gays Becoming Accepted as Regular Folks

Mixed marriages are becoming more accepted and polls show that most people support gay marriage as well. Is it time to come out of the closet? Although still sharply divided, public attitudes toward gays and lesbians are rapidly changing to reflect greater acceptance, with younger generations leading the way.

Most Americans overwhelmingly support basic civil liberties and freedom of expression for gays and lesbians, in contrast to sharp division on such issues in the 1970s. Sociologist Tom W. Smith says that these poll results show a clear "trend toward greater tolerance regarding homosexuality."

The rise in support for same-sex marriage has been especially dramatic over the last two decades. It went from 11% approval in 1988 to 46% in 2010, compared to 40% who were opposed, producing a narrow plurality in favor for the first time. The report is based on findings of the latest General Social Survey, conducted in 2010 with a cross sample of more than 2,000 people.

Smith says, "There is a large generation gap on the issue (of same-sex marriage). While 64% of those under 30 back it, only 27% of those 70 and older support it," meaning there will be even more support for it in the future.

The change toward acceptance of homosexuality began in the late 1980s after years of remaining relatively constant. In 1973, 70% of people felt same-sex relations are “always wrong,” and in 1987, 75% held that view. By 2000, however, that number dropped to 54% and by 2010 was down to under 44%.

Is our future one of hope or dread? This study gives us optimism about what will come, but the truth is, nobody knows what will happen --will there be a Superstorm? Will 2012 be the end of us? Will we discover that time travel is real? These books are all hard to find in bookstores, but you can get them (along with an autographed bookplate designed by Whitley) from the Whitley Strieber Collection.

And there's something wonderful coming up for you in the near future, whether you're gay or straight: Our annual Dreamland Festival, which will be held this year in May. Come hear things you've never heard before, but hurry: Our tickets are selling out fast!



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