7 TV Shows That Changed The Same-Sex Marriage Conversation In A Big Way
June 2015 is a game-changing time for same-sex marriage. The United States Supreme Court has overruled same-sex marriage bans in four states, giving all couples most of the same benefits across the board. It's been a long road to giving same-sex couples the option to get married, and one of the surprising (or maybe not so much) factors addressing the debate is in pop culture. There’s no doubt that television is a major American past time, and thus the portrayal of same-sex marriage on TV is vital to making progress happen. More and more same-sex couples are appearing in TV shows and, in doing so, offering up different perspective to Americans. For instance, Glee alone showed their young demographic numerous, multi-faceted same-sex couples in a high school setting. Talk about game-changing.
Modern Family's title alone makes a strong declaration. Cam and Mitch represent one part of a dynamic, loving and, yes, modern, family. The way their relationship is portrayed on the show makes it clear that they face the same struggles as other couples. (Although, when same-sex marriage was legalized in California, you better believe they celebrated.)
As the Supreme Court prepares to make this ground-breaking decision, let’s take a look at seven TV shows that helped encourage a positive outlook on same-sex marriage.
Kevin and Scotty — Brothers & Sisters
In the Brothers & Sisters pilot, we meet Kevin, a confident and openly gay lawyer. Over the course of the series, viewers followed his on-and-off relationship with Scotty before the two eventually married. The character of Kevin was groundbreaking in that not only was he one of the show's leads, but he was already out in his workplace and supportive family.
Carol and Susan — Friends
Season 1 of Friends finds Ross both a father-to-be and single, as his wife has just come out as a lesbian. Although tensions predictably arise, and a lot of jokes were made that weren’t the most tasteful, Ross stands by Carol’s side — even walking her down the aisle when she marries Susan. In doing this, Ross highlights that the forward-thinking characters of the show are supportive of the marriage, truly exemplifying the sentiment "love is love."
Cam and Mitchell — Modern Family
Cam and Mitch are one of television’s most prominent couples, and they are equal parts hilarious and authentic. They’re an amazing reminder that modern families come in many different varieties.
Kurt & Blaine and Santana & Brittany — Glee
Glee took same-sex marriage to a new level with this double wedding in the final season. As the show concluded, it made a statement that all loving couples should have the right to marry. Kurt's dad said it best when he married the same-sex pairs "under a God who, for sure, if he believes in love, then he fully endorses the loving marriages of these two wonderful couples." I dare you not to get chills as you watch these vows.
Callie and Arizona — Grey's Anatomy
Through many, many ups and downs, Callie and Arizona proved their love to each other. They challenged many norms, but showed viewers that, with some hard work, their marriage could work, no matter who was saying those vows.
Harold and Roman — Gossip Girl
OK, stick with me on this one. Sure, Gossip Girl wasn’t necessarily breaking political barriers with its storylines on a regular basis, but the arc where Blair reveals that her father left her mother for another man — and comes to accept her new stepfather — is touching. The scores of viewers who looked up to Blair saw her resistance and eventual love for her two dads. Who better to endorse the idea that families are made of all different formulas than the Queen of the Upper East Side herself?
Thanks to these TV shows, viewers are provided with a positive outlook on same-sex marriage. Hopefully networks will continue to grow these diverse relationships as America broadens its perspectives on the subject.