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‘Commitment Campaign’ aims to reshape the debate on gay marriage

Monday, November 7, 2011

A bipartisan group backing legalization of same-sex marriage launched a new campaign on Monday, aimed at reshaping the debate from the topic of marriage “equality” to the value of “commitment.”

The “Commitment Campaign” — spearheaded by the centrist think tank Third Way — is intended to promote the idea that same-sex couples want to marry “so that they can make a lifetime commitment,” and deepen support for same-sex marriage among moderates and Independents.

Advocates have long made the case that legalizing marriage for gays and lesbians is a matter of equality, but those who frame the issue that way might be reinforcing a belief among many Americans in the middle on the issue that gays and lesbians want to marry for different reasons than straight couples, according to polling by Third Way and Grove Insight.

When asked why “couples like you” might want to marry, 58% said to “publicly acknowledge their love and commitment to each other.” When asked why gays and lesbians may want to marry, the respondents split between “love and commitment” and “rights and benefits.”

The Commitment Campaign said it plans to “work with policymakers and advocates to persuade the middle that gay couples want to marry so that they can make a lifetime commitment.”

Third Way President Jon Cowan remarked, “The Commitment Campaign will be a signature project of Third Way over the coming years. We feel strongly that allowing all committed couples to make a promise of fidelity to each other for life is something that Americans should embrace, and we hope to play a significant role in moving our country in that direction.”

The campaign indicated that recent passage of same-sex marriage in New York state potentially signifies a tipping point on the issue.

Several states — including Maryland, Minnesota and North Carolina — are likely to consider legislation or ballot initiatives on gay marriage in 2012.

The campaign already has the support of several high profile Democrats and Republicans, including Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I), former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman (R) and Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

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6 more reader comments:

  1. Well, that is what marriage is about: commitment…

    Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 at 7:10pm
  2. Oh dear. Another argument about semantics.

    Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 at 7:46pm
  3. Whatever it takes to get the low commonsense folks to get it through their thick skulls.

    Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 at 7:49pm
  4. Omg..*head desk* This is so stupid I can’t even be bothered to be angry anymore.

    Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 at 11:21pm
  5. The religious extremists will just preach commitment to their god comes first. We need to show that commitment to each other regardless of gender, and commitment to life, liberty and love – not hate- is the real message of all religions as well as the only sane reason for life itself.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 9:18am
  6. Why begin a campaign? Why not conduct a actual survey and do research to back it? If you can do unbiased survey of both homosexual couples and heterosexual couples and prove that the commitment of homosexual couples is equal to if not greater then heterosexual couples then wouldn’t that prove that point and we can move on.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 10:53pm