The Game – 251 – Changing Attitudes Toward LGBT

In 2000, a state ballot measure banning same-sex marriage passed 61 to 32. In 2013, after a landmark Supreme Court decision, polling showed 64 percent of Californians favored same-sex marriage.

What caused such a dramatic reversal of a once-controversial issue? We talk to our friend, Melissa Michelson, about this sweeping change in public attitudes. The Game is public opinion. The Game is on.

Most of the difficult issues facing this nation – gun control, abortion, race relations, the death penalty – are immovable. But public attitudes and acceptance of same-sex marriage underwent an amazing turnaround. In 2000, voters approved Proposition 22, a ban on same-sex marriage by a margin of 61 percent to 32. In 2008, a similar measure, Proposition 8, also passed but by a much narrower margin of 52 to 48. By 2013, same-sex marriage was legal and public polling showed 64 percent of Californians supported it. What happened?

That’s exactly the question asked by political scientists Brian Harrison and Melissa Michelson. They set off to research why public opinion changed so dramatically and so swiftly.

The results of their work have been published in “Listen, We Need To Talk – How to change attitudes about LGBT rights.” And Melissa, a professor of Political Science at Menlo College, is here to talk about her book. We’ll also spend a Few Minutes with Kevin at the end of the show to catch up on his latest activities.

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