Moving the Middle on Equality for Gay and Lesbian Americans
In this memo, which is based on three recent polls, we offer a roadmap for moving forward on a range of equality issues, focusing particularly on the one that often proves most difficult—relationship recognition for same-sex couples.
This memo offers new insights and strategies to help governors and other elected officials better understand and move ahead on one of the nation’s most important and challenging issues— making progress towards equality for gay and lesbian Americans, and in particular on same-sex relationship recognition. Based on an extensive body of public opinion research, we have identified a plurality of Americans that can be described as the “moveable middle.” They are mostly moderate in ideology, most likely to be evolving on gay issues, geographically and ethnically diverse, and many are religiously observant. Regardless of whether a particular state has limited relationship recognition policies or is debating gay marriage, the moveable middle is the lynchpin in making progress and generating the necessary political support. But the middle responds to a very different set of arguments than audiences that are considered the base on either side.