Same-Sex Marriage and the Jews

In Mosaic Magazine (“Advancing Jewish Thought”), Sam Schulman has an article analyzing American Jews’ disproportionate level of support for gay marriage (“Same-Sex Marriage and the Jews“):

The majority of American Jews, as I have already indicated, are affluent and highly educated, and their politics are liberal. Indeed, their liberalism determines more than their politics or their voting habits. It informs their attitudes on most social and economic issues, their positions on moral and religious questions, their ideas of family and community—and, critically, their self-image as Jews.

So much has been written about the history, the characteristics, and the by now ingrained nature of Jewish liberalism that little need be added here. Suffice it to say that for many if not most American Jews, there is nothing accidental in their support both of the black civil-rights movement in the 1960s and of gay marriage today: two causes that they and their spokesmen often link together as related episodes in the battle against discrimination and prejudice. In both instances, their sentiments are in tune with the modern liberal values of tolerance, acceptance, and a bias in favor of equality—or, in today’s more therapeutic and moralizing terminology, the values of compassion, caring, and sensitivity.

To this we may add a demographic fact. By and large, American Jews tend to live in metropolitan areas that are themselves bastions of elite liberal opinion—and that also, not coincidentally, attract significant numbers of educated and high-achieving gays. This alone may suggest the likelihood that many Jews, and perhaps especially those in the worlds of fashion, communication, and the arts, will be close friends or on friendly terms with similarly situated gays and indeed likelier to have such friends than to be acquainted with a semi-skilled or unskilled manufacturing worker or a person of any race who is a member of the Tea Party or has deer-hunting tags.

Imagine if such a group also had disproportionate influence in culture-production.

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