When asked in our poll why “couples like you” might want to get married, 58% said “to publicly acknowledge their love and commitment to each other.” Only 22% chose “for rights and benefits, like tax advantages, hospital visitation, or sharing a spouse’s pension.” But when asked why gay couples might want to get married… respondents were split down the middle between commitment and rights (38% to 38%).
There is a direct line between how people answered this question and whether they were supportive of marriage… people who believe gay couples want to marry for commitment overwhelmingly support allowing them to do so. But people who believe gay couples want to marry to obtain a set of rights largely oppose allowing those couples to marry.
– The Third Way.org discussing the a new attempt to sway swing voters by stressing that marriage equality is about the desire for gay couples to express their commitment rather than secure civil rights.
Image via Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
This is fucking stupid. By far the biggest reason why marriage equality hasn’t succeeded is b/c we’re called evil, sick, perverted, pedophiles, etc. by religious leaders & those looking to cash in, both literally (e.g., NOM) & figuratively (in the form of votes), of the fear & paranoia stirred up by religious leaders in their sheep.
I’d say the biggest reason is that far too many gay people are expecting a political campaign to change hearts and minds, and not actual grassroots contact.
Come Out, folks. To everyone. To your co-workers, your neighbours, your community members, your family, your EXTENDED family and get them on board as well – straight people who are openly supportive of LGBT Equality.
We win when we get our allies to not only stand with us, but become advocates for us. Every time you give an excuse to not be Out to someone that’s a vote gone. With that person comes everyone they’re in contact with. Ripple effect. How badly do you want Equality? Enough to give up the ego boost some of you get by being able to “pass for white”?
Religious leaders with hellfire campaigns against us are USELESS against those of us who know and love us. Who know lgbt people in all facets of their lives. So, help out by Coming Out – to more than just your immediate circle of gay friends, dudes. Talk to your families about how important this is. Co-workers. It’s 2011 – why are there still adults, fully grown men and women, defending a “choice” to remain hidden? Every time we hide we lose an opportunity to change hearts and minds.
The ugly little secret is that the civil aspects of marriage is not to shower benefits on couples as a sign of social support for marriage. It is about protecting the partners from each other by adding the State as a third party to the union.
I’m sorry, but you don’t need marriage to “commit” to one another.
A non-legally binding ceremony can achieve ALL of the “commitment” anyone could want.
Marriage IS about commitment, and it IS about RIGHTS.
It is about BOTH.
You cannot dissociate commitment and rights from marriage.
When you marry, you vow to be together (to commit to one another).
This grants you rights (advantages) as a reward for solidifying the social fabric by this committed relationship.
There is no reason for special rights to be granted to people who are casually living together. That is why married couples enjoy certain advantages.
Mike in Asheville
There is not some magic manner that civil rights equity can be achieved — it if were so simple then there would not be obstacles. The battle for marriage equity requires multi-faceted approaches because there are multi-faceted challenges in securing the support needed for change.
To say that expressing a demand for equal treatment works against marriage equity is just plain stupid. When the campaign for marriage equity began in Hawaii, 1994, public support was less than 20%, and discriminatory sodomy laws were still on the books and enforced. Today, public support for marriage equality surpasses 50%.
Now, it is a good idea for foster other campaigns to gain even greater support? ABSOLUTELY. Let us welcome this new campaign promoting the commitment married couples, and want-to-be-married couples have to one another. Thanks for joining the rest of us who have been vocally and financially pushing for marriage equity for 15+ years.
Bet most of you have never heard of the group, the Third Way. Well, neither had I until they incomprehensibly suddenly started getting invited by the White House to meetings about DADT repeal legislation in the Spring of last year even though they aren’t a gay group. Digging into their history, I discovered they were a multi-issue group supposedly devoted to “moderate” positions but started by “Blue Dog Democrats” [read: often Repugs in Dem clothing] including the heinous Blanche Lincoln who voted against repeal even after Obama saved her from getting tossed off of the party’s ticket [she ended up losing in the midterm anyway]. The obvious only reason they were suddenly at the table with gay repeal groups like SLDN and Servicemembers United was because they had backed the President’s refusal to use his legal powers to order a freeze on discharges while repeal legislation worked its way through Congress, and, thus, could be expected to back the President’s support for then-Secretary of Defense Gates’ demand that the original and BETTER repeal bill be gutted—which succeeded and is now legally empowering the Pentagon to deny gay service members equal protections against harassment and discrimination IN the military as well as deny those partner benefits which are NOT banned by DOMA.
Yes, they have some known gay advocates as members, and alsoeven out gay Congressman Jared Polis. But that doesn’t mean our true allies prevailed in the discussion of this idea which is STUPID and SELF-DESTRUCTIVE from top to bottom. It would be one thing if they suggested talking about BOTH commitment and equal rights, but they’re insisting we stop talking about rights entirely. Could it be a Trojan Horse by Blue Dog Dems to actually kill it? The Antigay Industry would immediately shoot down this approach by, for once, not having to lie—gay couples’ “commitment” is just as fully served by civil unions/domestic partnerships as legal “marriage,” they’ll say, then ice that cake with their original Big Lie: so such a “special right” isn’t needed.
TYPICAL of so many southerners, they accept IGNORANCE as a natural, unchangeable state of being rather than believing the electorate can learn IF properly messaged which, again and again, they have not. California and Maine both relied on “touchy-feely” commercials that were immediately incinerated by the slash and burn attacks based on “protect your children” lies. As gay Obama 2008 campaign strategist Steve Hildebrand said:
“We are fools to have spent all this money and time and not have defined the opponents. It’s not enough to answer their charges. We need to hit them back and not let up on it until voters don’t buy their lies anymore. (The NO on 1 and No on 8 campaigns were) malpractice in my opinion.”
And, with respect, Little Kiwi, while I agree everyone should come out, and not just because of its potential effect in the voting booth, the formula of “To Know Us Is to Love Us” in that booth is a huge myth. As I recall, some 49% of those in California who voted for Prop 8 DID know someone who is gay, in many instances relatives. I read one interview with the father of a lesbian daughter who said he loved her, wanted her to be happy, blah fucking blah, but still voted for Prop 8.
In short, ALL reasons to vote for marriage equality must be used, but I believe, like Hildebrand, that, ultimately, the most successful messaging is: “You’re either for bigotry or against it. Pick your hat.”
How many different ways is Queerty going to try to keep pushing the HRC line of “Gee, we shouldn’t do anything, we shouldn’t fight back, we should just sit back and do nothing,”
Since we have been focusing on the right donations to NOM have dried up, Maggie Gallagher has been kicked from the board, the Mormon church has come under scrutiny and backed way off of their anti gay pushes in multiple states AND we have gotten DADT repealed and started a huge pushback on DOMA.
Yeah…gee, sounds like a REAL failure.
But once again Queerty runs and article saying “Leave the Right alone” Kind of like all the articles you ran telling us to not pick on poor “Marcus Bachman”.
“……the formula of “To Know Us Is to Love Us” in that booth is a huge myth. As I recall, some 49% of those in California who voted for Prop 8 DID know someone who is gay, in many instances relatives. I read one interview with the father of a lesbian daughter who said he loved her, wanted her to be happy, blah fucking blah, but still voted for Prop 8.”
i call bullshit on that. Coming Out is only step one – being firm about respect is step two. there are many other steps. First we need to be Out – to everyone. Here’s a reality – nobody DOESN’T know LGBT people. Everyone has a gay family member or two, and those that “don’t” simply aren’t aware of it yet. Co-workers. Community members. Religious communities.
it’s not enough to simply be Out, we need to be proactive advocates for Equality. We need to call our families on it. Yeah, I’ve met people whose parents “tolerate” their gay kids but are against Marriage Equality. Know what changes things? When those kids grow a spine and let their parents know that they don’t tolerate their parent’s intolerance.
take a lesson from my Mum, she knows what she’s talking about:
and lets not forget the people who just lie about “having gay friends” – rick santorum claims to have gay friends, but we all know he’s full of crap. he may be referring to the self-castrating wimps of GOProud, but that doesn’t exactly count.
Sorry, there’s a huge difference between some pig like Santorum trying to soften his bigot reputation by publicly claiming he has gay friends and people simply responding to a poll. Brava for your Mom, but I’ve seen the opposite happen repeatedly in my 40 years of activism, including, just one example, working in the anti-Anita Bryant campaign in 1977 which patented the “Save the Children” Big Lie. One of the staff members in our campaign voted to repeal Miami’s gay job discrimination ordinance.
Yes, YES, as I SAID, COME OUT, and lobby everyone you know for support—but the FACT remains that that is only PART of the formula for success. If their friends haven’t been convinced by more important people in their own lives AND MEANINGFUL campaigns to contradict Antigay Industry messaging we will still continue to lose more often than we win.
I’ve never claimed it was the cure, Michael. I’ve stated, repeatedly, that it’s Step One of the cure. Step One. Step One of MANY.
Make that: ” the SISTER of one of the staff members in our campaign….”
step one is coming out. step two is making it very damned clear that you will not tolerate anything less than understanding, acceptance and support from your family. if more people would call out the bigotry of their families and make a big deal of it then this would cease. alas, we get people who accept the most ragged slices of “tolerance” and never challenge it.
Interacial Marriage didn’t become legal because a majority in the country suddenly felt all warm and fuzzy and wanted to run out and marry people of a different race…
The courts imposed it, and the states had to accept it.
The people of Alabama in 2000 still had a 40% opposition rate against interacial marriage. Should the civil rights groups have waited decades to try to convince those bigots to love their fellow man?
Of course not. It’s like saying we shouldn’t lock up our cars at night, we should just convince everybody that it is wrong to steal.
Sometimes you have to impose the law.
@ Little Kiwi – Yes, coming out does have some influence on acceptance of gays by straights.
But, by your suggestion, coming out & not accepting less than equality doesn’t quite work in practice. There are plenty of those who tolerate us, even “like” us, but draw the line at marriage, adoption, etc. (e.g., Obama).
Do you know the main reason why?
It’s b/c they’re taught by their religion that what we do is wrong. The brainwashing goes beyond sexuality – there are PLENTY of people in the U.S. who believe that the Earth is 10,000 years old b/c “it’s in the Bible.” Seriously.
I don’t know how things are in New Zealand, but here in the U.S., ignorance is celebrated. It perpetuates itself in the media (Fox News, talk radio, even “mainstream media”) & the school system. When you try to combat it, you’re labeled a bigot, an “elitist,” socialist/liberal, etc. We’re a nation w/ arguably the highest per capita of morons.
You try arguing w/ a moron. It doesn’t get you anywhere.
The Third Way is the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. I ignore all of their advice.
Jeez, this is a stupid quote. Same sex couples respond this way because they want to make clear TO the straight couples how many rights and benefits come along with that marriage license. OF COURSE, the first reason to marry is because of their love and commitment to each other.
Small town straight people don’t wanna hear about two men loving each other. They will understand our plight when we discuss all the other stuff…
The problem with this messaging is that it further desexualizes and assimilates the lgbtq culture into the mainstream and not in a good way – in a shameful, monogamous, non-celebratory-of-diversity way.
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