Hi Pam, I think changing attitudes to homosexuality and more atheists sticking their heads above the parapet are related. As the world becomes more connected and less parochial minority groups benefit. There is less opportunity for those desperate to maintain the status quo to silence those they consider weird or different.
I honestly think that tolerance and acceptance have been tremendously accelerated by the advent of the Internet. It enables people to experience societal influences from outside of their own community. Television and radio news had the adverse effect of installing fear of unknown communities. The Internet is the worlds biggest ever experiment in anarchy, and it’s amazing what knowledge can do to dissipate fear.