As Jacob Sullum pointed out on May Day, a new ABC News/Washington Post survey was the first-ever national poll to show more people supporting gay marriage than opposing it. At the same time, other fascinating new polling data is showing (among many other things) increased political non-affiliation, support for decriminalizing pot, and a desire to open up relations with Cuba. Comments Reason contributor Jonathan Rauch:
Here's something in the poll data which is revealing, if indirectly. Rising support for [same-sex marriage] is accompanied by increased support for legalizing illegal immigrants and decriminalizing marijuana—but also by a decline in support for gun control. A new poll from Pew confirms the turn against gun control, and adds that opposition to abortion is growing.
What does all of that have to do with gay marriage? Just this: It suggests that SSM is part of a libertarian shift in values—not a libertine shift or a flight from values altogether. The public increasingly rejects the claim that gay marriage harms a third party (as abortion does) or violates anyone's rights (as gun control arguably does).