An unprecedented 71.3 percent of incoming college students indicated that same-sex couples should have the right to legal marital status, compared with 64.9 percent in 2009, a remarkable 6.4 percentage-point increase over a two-year period. While support for same-sex marriage is highest among female students and those who identify as liberal, a significant amount of conservative students (42.8 percent) and an increasing number of male students (64.1 percent in 2011 vs. 56.7 percent in 2009) expressed support for this issue.
And they are not just liberal on marriage equality but other important issues:
I often wonder why people like NOM are fighting so fanatically to deny equal marriage rights to same-sex couples when the writing has been on the wall for years that the public opinion is rapidly moving against them and that eventually no one will care about this issue because marriage will be open to all committed couples.Students also demonstrated more progressive attitudes about policies that give students from disadvantaged backgrounds preferential treatment in college admissions. Despite the increasingly competitive admissions environment, which has resulted in fewer students gaining acceptance to their first-choice college (76.0 percent in 2011 vs. 78.9 percent in 2010), the number of students supporting preferential treatment in college admissions rose from 37.4 percent in 2009 to 42.1 percent in 2011, a 4.7 percentage-point increase.
In another finding with important implications in the current political climate, fewer students said they believe that undocumented students should be denied access to public education. Since the question was last asked in 2009, opposition to educational access for these students dropped by 4.2 percentage points, from 47.2 percent to 43.0 percent in 2011. While liberal students are much more likely to support undocumented students' access to education, 39.0 percent of conservative students also indicated their support.
Why do you think people are fighting to maintain a discriminatory policy that they must know will be swept away in the sands of time eventually?
Hat/tip to LGBT Think Progress.