At the New York Times, Mark Oppenheimer has just published a piece, “From Fighting Same-Sex Marriage to Forging a Pro-Marriage Coalition for All,” about the release today of “A Call to a New Conversation on Marriage.” The full text of the Call and the list of more than 70 American leaders who are signatories is available at our homepage, AmericanValues.org.
The document is signed by 74 well-known activists, writers and scholars, on the left and the right, including the conservative John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine; John Corvino, a gay philosopher; Robert N. Bellah, a sociologist; Caitlin Flanagan, a feminism skeptic; and Glenn C. Loury, an economist — once conservative, now less so.
“While the nation’s attention is riveted by a debate about whether a small proportion of our fellow citizens (gays and lesbians) should be allowed to marry,” the statement reads, “marriage is rapidly dividing along class lines, splitting the country that it used to unite.”
As the Call concludes:
…The conventional wisdom seems to be that marriage – except possibly for gay marriage – is something that can’t be fixed. It’s about personal choices. People are voting with their feet. Nothing can be done to stop or reverse the trend. The only thing we can do is ignore the problem, change the subject, or passively wring our hands in sadness.
The new conversation rejects this premise entirely. This is an American conversation. Like our forebears, we assume that what happens in the future will be the result of our ideas and choices today. No trend in our society, including the marriage trend, is preordained, or immune from human decision-making, and no problem we face – this is America, after all – is so large that we must become passive and servile in its face.
The current conversation is at a dead end.
But the new conversation is just getting started.
To this new conversation, we pledge our time, money, and best ideas. We are eager to face the challenge. We invite you to join us.