Time Declares Victory For Us

Time magazine covers for April 8. | TIME.COM

Time magazine covers for April 8. | TIME.COM

The twin April 8 Time magazine covers –– one with two women in a slightly open-mouthed kiss, the other with two men in a tamer smooch –– may test Middle America’s appetite for gay public displays of affection. The cover essay will likely prove more ho hum for most. It reflects, after all, the evolving attitudes of Americans.

David von Drehle’s article “Gay Marriage Already Won” argues that no matter the legal outcome of the DOMA and Prop 8 cases currently facing the Supreme Court, the recent dramatic shift in polls makes clear an emerging consensus on marriage equality. Tracking the history of legal cases and public opinion, von Drehle takes note of the increasingly bipartisan support the issue is drawing, both among the public and elected officials.

“Eighty-three percent of voters believe that same-sex marriage will be legal nationwide in the next five to 10 years,” von Drehle writes of exit polls from the November election. That number represents an overwhelming verdict on where the issue is headed.

Perhaps most heartening of all is the flip-flopping occurring in red states, with Democratic US senators from Missouri, Montana, and West Virginia (one of that state's two Democrats) recently announcing their support. The shift in public opinion, von Drehle argues, is likely to be permanent. “The Supreme Court hasn’t made up its mind – but America has,” his tag line reads.