A second Gallup poll showed that half of Americans now support legal same-sex marriages, with the same rights as traditional marriages. By 50 to 48 percent, Americans support gay marriage under the law, with independent voters supporting it 57 to 40 percent. In 1996, when Gallup first began polling on the question, Americans overwhelmingly opposed gay marriage, 68 to 27 percent. The speed with which many Americans have changed their minds on this says a lot—about how many of us have been influenced by gay friends in committed relationships, longing for the validation and acceptance that marriage implies. Over the course of the last few years, many have come to feel that gay couples deserve the same as the rest of us. We can't have two classes of citizens in this country. Again, every life has equal value.
Standing up for the equality of every human life means different things to different people—whether we are answering a pollster's questions on issues like abortion and gay marriage, or whether we are donating organs or coaching a sports team or driving the Meals on Wheels van. But what's clear is that we are seeing more and more Americans spending their moral capital on the value of every human life. They are, in the words of the poet, serving our age by betraying it.