Gay Politics Goes Mainstream: Democrats, Republicans, and Same-Sex Relationships

30 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2021

See all articles by Raquel Fernández

Raquel Fernández

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sahar Parsa

Tufts University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 1, 2021

Abstract

Attitudes towards same-sex relationships in the US have changed radically over a relatively short period of time. After remaining fairly constant for over two decades, opinions became more favorable starting in 1992 - a presidential election year in which the Democratic and Republican parties took opposing stands over the status of gay people in society. What roles did political parties and their leaders play in this process of cultural change? Using a variety of techniques including machine learning, we show that the partisan opinion gap emerged substantially prior to 1992 -- in the mid 1980s -- and did not increase as a result of the political debates in 1992-'93. Furthermore, we identify people with a college-and-above education as the potential "leaders" of the process of partisan divergence.

Keywords: Cultural change, heterogeneous effects, LGBTQ attitudes, Political parties, Public Opinion

JEL Classification: P16, Z1, Z13

Suggested Citation

Fernández, Raquel and Parsa, Sahar, Gay Politics Goes Mainstream: Democrats, Republicans, and Same-Sex Relationships (July 1, 2021). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP16382, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3928660

Raquel Fernández (Contact Author)

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics ( email )

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New York, NY 10003
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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Sahar Parsa

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

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