Opinion
Get Opinion in your inbox -- sign up for our weekly newsletter
Top of the Ticket
Opinion Top of the Ticket

Same-sex marriage is creating a new divide in the United States

Journalist and gay activist Dan Savage often writes about the urban archipelago -- the American cities that are comfortable, safe islands for gays and lesbians set amid a vast sea of countryside where being openly homosexual remains a chancy, even dangerous, proposition. However, after an election in which four more states approved same-sex marriage, perhaps that sea is receding.

In fact, the map of states that now allow men to marry men and women to marry women is beginning to resemble the now familiar chart of red and blue states. It is in New England, New York, Maryland, the upper Midwest and Washington state where either voters, legislators or the courts have approved the historic shift from marriage being just a boy-and-girl thing. Those are, of course, generally true-blue Democratic strongholds.

Other blue states are likely to follow. If Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Golden State could be the next in line. A confederacy of gay-friendly states is taking shape. It will create a major divide in the United States, a divide that could last a long time, given that the red states -- places such as Alabama and Utah and South Carolina -- are about as likely to give up on "traditional marriage" as they are likely to turn all their churches into medical marijuana dispensaries. 

PHOTOS: Top of the Ticket cartoons

The turn toward approval of same-sex marriage in several regions of the country is so sudden and so unexpected that Americans have not really begun to ponder what the ramifications of this new national divide may be. Canada legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2005 and, thus far, straight marriages among Canadians have not been sundered and God has not brought down his wrath on the land of maple leaves and Mounties. But in the United States, a national law is not in the cards.

On this issue, states will continue to decide for themselves and take separate paths. So the question is, can a house divided against itself stand? Can a nation endure that is half slave to tradition and half free to marry?

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Billionaires wasted millions trying to buy the 2012 election

    Billionaires wasted millions trying to buy the 2012 election

    Never has so much money been spent in an American political campaign with so little effect. Billionaires, both anonymous and named, threw hundreds of millions of dollars into the presidential race and several Senate contests, but failed to elect a Republican president or bring about a GOP takeover...

  • Democrats had a better grasp of political reality in 2012

    Democrats had a better grasp of political reality in 2012

    As a candidate, Mitt Romney was his own worst enemy. He thought he could amass a majority saying things that would please the crowd in front of him and contradict himself with another crowd somewhere down the line without anyone taking notice. He thought he could offer vague platitudes about his...

  • Egypt's muffling of news media is an outrage

    Egypt's muffling of news media is an outrage

    In sentencing three Al Jazeera television journalists to three years in prison for crimes that look suspiciously like committing journalism, an Egyptian court has ruled in direct contradiction to international human rights and press freedoms. That an American ally — and the recipient of $1.3 billion...

  • A Biden candidacy could divide the Democrats

    A Biden candidacy could divide the Democrats

    Joe Biden hasn't decided whether to run for president, but he tells almost everyone who asks that he's giving it serious thought.

  • Beyond $15 an hour: The new generation of labor leaders

    Beyond $15 an hour: The new generation of labor leaders

    In the 121 years since Labor Day became a national holiday, millions have taken it as a day of rest. For labor leaders, though, it's a day about work: working the politicians, working the issues of pay and benefits in a country where wages for many of those millions have hit the skids. Laphonza...

  • 'God's authority' doesn't apply in the Rowan County Courthouse

    'God's authority' doesn't apply in the Rowan County Courthouse

    On Thursday, Kim Davis, an elected clerk in Rowan County, Ky., who has steadfastly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, is expected to appear before a federal judge who could find her in contempt of court and jail or fine her. Neither sanction will be necessary if Davis does...

Comments
Loading
79°