Over the next week, the only opinion people will care about on marriage is the Supreme Court’s. But as more surveys show, the backdrop for that ruling is a country still very much divided on the issue — with one exception: Millennials. America’s 18 to 29-year-olds, raised in an age of LGBT saturation in schools, Hollywood, and social media, are the most enthusiastic about redefining an institution that half of their parents aren’t even a part of. Lately, though, what’s newsworthy isn’t the younger generation’s support for same-sex “marriage,” but their older siblings’ growing opposition to it.
In a surprising new trend to pollsters, the gap is widening between Millennials and their Generation X counterparts. Now in their 30s and 40s, the children of Madonna and Ferris Bueller are noticeably more reluctant to redefine marriage than they used to be. “In 2005, five percent more Millennials support gay marriage than Generation Xers, according to Pew Research Center; today, the difference is 14 percent.”
More than double. The shift may have caught liberals off guard — but not us. FRC has argued for years that the older people get, the more socially conservative they become. Once young people shed their rebellious 20s, get married, and have a family, it dramatically alters their perspective on some of these issues. Suddenly, the anything-goes teenager turns into a father who can’t imagine their little girl sharing a bathroom with a grown man or hearing LGBT fairy tales in third grade.
These days, with more young people putting off marriage, the cultural awakening is taking a little longer. But it is happening, as Pew makes very clear. The Left desperately wants to lock young people into a box on issues like marriage — but they shouldn’t be surprised when their opinions “evolve” too.
Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council. This article is excerpted from the Washington Update that he compiles for the FRC.