Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and
former RNC chief Ken Mehlman back a new campaign to frame the case
for legalizing gay marriage as an issue of commitment, not rights.
Campaign launched Monday by the Third Way, a centrist Democrat
group, is an effort to emphasize commitment over rights in the gay
“If you know only three things about
advocating for marriage to the middle, they are the three lessons in
this fact sheet. The most important lesson is that for the middle,
marriage is about commitment – not rights,” a fact sheet on the
The group's message is that the middle
is uncertain about why gay couples want to marry.
“Americans in the middle place
commitment at the heart of how they see marriage.”
According to Third Way, research shows
that people who think gay couples want to marry for reasons of love
and commitment are more likely to be comfortable with marriage.
“In this fast-evolving issue, we're
all searching for common ground,” O'Malley, who is behind an effort
to legalize gay marriage in Maryland, told USA TODAY. “And the way
to have a conversation with those who would be inclined not to
support marriage equality is to search for those common values that
Also supporting the campaign are Rhode
Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and former New Jersey Governor
Christine Todd Whitman.