There are times I like South Carolina and times I simply tolerate it; but today is one of those days when I love it, and think that maybe things are gonna be all right down here.
As I’ve said before, I was pleasantly surprised — okay, I was stunned and shocked — at the way Carlos and I were accepted as a gay couple when we moved from Miami to South Carolina. Never a nasty word, or a sideways glance; we’ve never felt that sting of discrimination. Oh, I’m sure it’s out there, but we haven’t seen it personally. And that may be changing, too, for the better.
See, down here in good old Red State, Bible-thumping South Carolina a fascinating new poll number has come out which might just turn the tide for same-sex marriage around the country. And it might just be the undoing of the GOP, here and elsewhere, if they don’t stop with their anti-LGBT ways.
The number? 52.
Yes, fifty-two-percent of South Carolinians believe that marriages between same-sex couples should not be recognized under law; slightly more than half. How is that good, you ask? Well, I’m here to tell you.
In 2006, when a similar poll was taken in South Carolina regarding same-sex couples and marriage, the numbers came in at 78% of the voters who did not want to allow same-sex couples the rights of marriage.
That’s a huge drop, y’all. From 78% to 52% in just seven years — and not coincidentally, the exact same number of years that Carlos and I have been living here. I’m not saying we caused this epic shift in thought, but maybe we helped it along a little.
And this shift in South Carolina seems to mirror a broader national trend in which not only are younger people more and more tolerant of same-sex marriage but within each generation people have been growing more and more tolerant toward it in recent years, but the fact that there has been this huge shift in this state, of all states, is, as the kids say, epic.
Remember … Mitt Romney won South Carolina with 55% of the vote in 2012; John McCain took the state with 54% in 2008; the last Democrat to win South Carolina at the presidential level was Jimmy Carter in 1976. We have, and have had, a Republican governor, a Republican controlled legislature and two Republican senators; six of our seven U.S. House seats are held by Republicans.
So, Republicans, particularly those with an eye on a future national bid in 2016 or beyond — and I’m looking at you, Christie — might wanna take a look at those poll numbers and they might wanna rethink their position on same-sex marriage.
I mean 26% of South Carolina voters have rethought their position on the issue and come down on the side of equality.