When Barack Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage earlier this month, it made headlines around the world. He was praised by some as a champion for LGBT civil rights and derided by others as a political opportunist who was trying to drum up support in an election year. While the president’s statement does not impact any federal or state legislation regarding same-sex marriage, it does signal a larger shift in cultural attitudes. A recent poll commissioned by CBS and The New York Times shows that a large majority of Americans now support legal recognition of some form for same-sex unions.
In April, we spoke with syndicated sex-advice columnist and LGBT rights activist Dan Savage. He told us about the practical implications of same-sex marriage and why it’s become so important to the gay rights movement and the country as a whole.