Perhaps one of the reasons gay activists prefer using the courts to advance their agenda is that it prevents them from having to consider conservative arguments and from appealing to conservative constituencies. Instead of working to build a consensus on gay marriage, they only need make legal arguments to appeal to a narrow segment of the population.
But, if the leaders of the gay marriage movement reached out to gays on the right, they might better be able to appeal to the population at large. While many of traditionally Democratic constituencies are averse to same-sex marriage, some Republicans, particularly those born after 1960, might, if better arguments were made, be persuaded to change their minds.
Gay men and women on the right (including many in the various chapters of Log Cabin) have worked with such individuals and understand their concerns. We can help develop arguments to address those concerns and reach out to conservative leaders, like Ward Connerly, favorable to same-sex marriage, perhaps even persuading them to speak out on our behalf.
We would like to be part of the conversation on the direction of the gay movement. If the leaders of the gay organizations continue to exclude us, as they did from LA’s “Townhall” earlier this week, they risk marginalizing themselves as left-wingers and making it easier for proponents of traditional marriage to present themselves as representing the mainstream of American society.
In short, the failure of the gay organizations to include gay conservatives increases the likelihood that they will fail to build a genuine societal consensus on gay marriage.
As I’ve written before, it’s a question of approach and attitude. In approaching conservatives, the portion of the population to which we must appeal, many of us have gained a better idea of the attitude necessary to address them and their concerns.