Radically Normal: How Gay Rights Activists Changed The Minds Of Their Opponents
In 1972, researchers launched a project known as the General Social Survey. The GSS asked Americans to share their opinions on a whole range of important issues, from education spending to the role of women in the workforce.
In 1988, the GSS began asking Americans to share their thoughts on another topic: whether gay people should have the right to marry. That year, fewer than 12 percent of respondents said yes.
Fast-forward three decades. In 2018, 68 percent of those surveyed said that gay couples should have that right.
"This is actually one of the most surprising things in the whole history of public opinion," says Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld. "There's more and more rapid change in attitudes towards gay rights in the past thirty years in the United States than there ever has been in recorded attitudes in the United States on any issue."