Virginia has been a bit more advanced than its other Southern neighbors for years now, due to the ever-expanding DC suburbs, which have brought a much more educated contingent in that has balanced some of the influence of more traditional, conservative Virginians. There are still, of course, enough wingnuts in Virginia to keep their statehouse inordinately conservative, but the state, as a whole is moving more quickly than the rest of the South. Yesterday, Wayne and I were on the phone, and in talking about the progress of marriage equality, we agreed that Virginia could be the first Southern state to usher in marriage equality. (Certain elected officials would have to lose reelection, of course.) A new poll shows that Virginians are ready for that discussion:
A Washington Post poll of Virginians regarding various social issues shows that a majority of Virginians believe same-sex marriage should be legal, a finding that challenges other polls in recent years showing that marriage equality still lacks broad support across the commonwealth.
According to the Post poll, 56 percent of Virginia adults believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married, while 34 percent think it should be illegal. Ten percent expressed no opinion. Among registered voters, those who thought it should be legal led by a similar margin, 56 to 33 percent.
Time will tell if this poll is an outlier, but it doesn’t surprise me one bit. Even in the South, the tide of equality is moving more quickly than we could have ever expected.