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Political winds shift, nationwide and in Florida, on same-sex marriage

By Adam C. Smith

Opponents of same-sex marriage will march en masse outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as justices hear arguments on two cases.

Even if traditional marriage activists win the court battles, though, it looks more and more like they have already lost the war.

Public opinion in America has undergone such a rapid sea change that opponents of same-sex marriage increasingly look like they soon will hold the fringe position. A growing chorus of conservatives argue that what only a few years ago was a fundamental plank of the GOP platform — opposing gay marriage — has now became a major liability.

“In 10 years or so, no one is going to be talking about this,’’ conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin predicted recently on a panel of Republicans supporting same-sex marriage.

“I would suggest the debate has already taken place in America. We cannot be at war with America on issues of fairness, on issues of equality.”

Look no further than Florida to see how remarkably the political landscape has shifted.

Barely four years ago, nearly 62 percent of Florida voters approved a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. Last week, a poll released by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found just 23 percent of Florida voters oppose legal recognition of both gay marriages and civil unions, and 75 percent support either gay marriage or civil unions. Among Republicans, 53 percent support civil unions, and 21 percent support legal same-sex marriage.

More here.