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Attitudes Toward Gays

According to New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, the recent Supreme Court decision that Americans have a constitutional right to gay marriage

wasn’t simply about weddings. It was about worth. From the highest of this nation’s perches, in the most authoritative of this nation’s voices, a majority of justices told a minority of Americans that they’re normal and that they belong....
- Frank Bruni, Our Weddings, Our Worth, NYT, June 26, 2015


That's quite a change from the view of homosexuality presented by the popular magazine Time in 1966:

Even in purely nonreligious terms, homosexuality represents a misuse of the sexual faculty and, in the words of one Catholic educator, of "human construction." It is a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life. As such it deserves fairness, compassion, understanding and, when possible, treatment. But it deserves no encouragement, no glamorization, no rationalization, no fake status as minority martyrdom, no sophistry about simple differences in taste--and, above all, no pretense that it is anything but a pernicious sickness.
- "The Homosexual in America," Time Magazine, January 21, 1966, available for Time subscribers at http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,835069-1,00.html, and available for others at http://www.drjudithreisman.com/archives/2011/06/time_essay_the.html (as of July 2, 2015).


The Time essay noted that already in the mid-sixties there had been a great change in attitudes:

It used to be "the abominable crime not to be mentioned." Today it is not only mentioned; it is freely discussed and widely analyzed. ...the homosexual is unsure of his position in society.... A vast majority of people retain a deep loathing toward him, but there is a growing mixture of tolerance, empathy or apathy. ...
That is the crux: most homosexuals apparently do not desire a cure. A generation ago, the view that homosexuality should be treated not as a vice but as a disease was considered progressive. Today in many quarters it is considered reactionary. Homophile opinion rejects the notion that homosexuals are sick, and argues that they simply have different tastes. Kinsey had a lot to do with this, for to him all sexual pleasure was equally valid. "The only unnatural sex act," he said, "is that which you cannot perform." His coauthor, Wardell Pomeroy, also argues that homosexuality should be accepted as a fact of human existence, and claims to have known many happy, well-adjusted homosexual couples. ...

Such views are enthusiastically taken up by several so-called homophile groups, a relatively new phenomenon. Best known of these deviate lobbies is the Mattachine Society....


So in the course of a century or less, homosexuality has gone from a serious vice to a disease to normal. Of course not everyone is so liberated from older views as to see nothing wrong with homosexuality. Nevertheless, it is clear there has recently been an enormous alteration of attitudes toward this sexual orientation, supporting the notion that our world is changing at a rapid and accelerating rate.



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