Supporters of gay marriage have shifted
their core argument to emphasize love and family over equality and
Los Angeles Times credited the new tactic in helping three
state legislatures approve gay marriage bills in February.
Washington State Governor Chris
Gregoire, who championed and signed the state's legislation, told the
paper that leaders need to ask themselves, “How would it feel to be
a child of a gay couple?”
“How can we tell these children that
their parents' love is seen as unequal under Washington law?”
A similar appeal was made by Maryland
Governor Martin O'Malley, who said in signing the state's bill into
law that all Marylanders want their children to be “protected
equally under the law.”
Maryland Delegate Wade Kach had a
change of heart and voted in favor of the bill after listening to
testimony from gay couples during a marathon 11-hour committee
“I saw with so many of the gay
couples, they were so devoted to one another. I saw so much love,”
said Kach. “When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in
regards to this issue.”
Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign
(HRC) told the paper that supporters began to change their message in
2008, after passage of Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.
The Third Way, a centrist Democrat
group, late last year launched the Commitment
Campaign, which emphasizes commitment over rights in the gay
“Americans in the middle place
commitment at the heart of how they see marriage,” the group said
in launching its campaign.
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.