What Any Advocate Can Learn From Gay Rights

It has been a historic week for gay rights in the United States and around the world with the Supreme Court ruling to lift any ban on same sex marriage!  Regardless of your position on this issue, we have witnessed one of the most amazing examples of social change on an issue that has been polarizing and controversial. 

Just 10 years ago, only 28% of Americans supported same sex marriage. Today polls are showing that over 62% of Americans are supportive. Any advocate or student of social change would do well to learn from the strategies that made this change happen. 

From my lens of observation, I can identify 3 major aspects, that I think informed a good portion of this shift. One has been the courage of many everyday people to "come out" and then continue to live their regular lives. As this happened, any shock from the announcements, gave way to the potency of their social capital to cause their friends and family to say, "no big deal." 

The second change, was the media, and entertainment making gay issues and situation just a part of everyday life. Movies, TV, news, the internet caused the sensationalism to lessen and for diversity of sexual orientation to become commonplace. 

The last factor I see is the emergence of the "gen-xers, mellenials," and youngsters in today's society being more accepting of diversity and reflecting more of the changes in our greater culture. 

So if you are an advocate for any group of people who have been devalued, marginalized, or maligned by the greater society, take note. There are important lessons for us all, as we work to build a community where each belongs!