The New York Times looks at new efforts to promote marriage that include traditional opponents of same-sex marriage who have had a change of heart, spearheaded by David Blankenhorn’s retooled Institute for American Values, and gay marriage advocates including IGF-affiliated Jonathan Rauch, John Corvino and Dale Carpenter. According to the report:
The “new conversation” may discomfit many conservatives by including gay men and lesbians. And this conversation may not suit many liberals who are wary of stigmatizing unwed parents or treating marriage as some sort of desirable norm.
Here’s the group’s mission statement. It says, in part:
We propose a new conversation that brings together gays and lesbians who want to strengthen marriage with straight people who want to do the same. The new conversation does not presuppose or require agreement on gay marriage, but it does ask a new question. The current question is, Should gays marry? The new question is, Who among us, gay or straight, wants to strengthen marriage?
We’ll see if there is momentum to move beyond social conservatism’s intransigence on the right, and if so whether gay and liberal groups are willing to engage in this conversation with those who are not part of the coalition of the left.
More. Columnist Kathleen Parker weighs in:
Blankenhorn’s personal transformation has resulted in a welcome shift in the public debate. How clever of him to recognize that his allies in strengthening marriage are the very people who for so long have been excluded.