New Site: Discussing Marriage

After several paragraphs which note that the marriage battle is essentially over, The Week points us to a new website.

Listing no sponsoring person or group, and claiming not to “represent the official beliefs or positions of any organization, religious or otherwise,” “Discussing Marriage” compiles the most powerful arguments in favor of traditional marriage and presents them in a thoughtful, measured, visually appealing way (including ample use of slightly cheesy stock photos). On the whole, it’s an impressive website. But also an utterly unconvincing one. If this is where those who hope to defend traditional marriage plan to make their last stand against the surging forces of same-sex marriage, the battle is going to be a rout.

Perhaps the most notable thing about the website is how far it goes in making the case for treating opponents — including gay couples — with respect. Whereas the mainstream of the anti-gay-marriage movement has recently gathered under the banner of religious freedom, arguing that they should continue to be permitted to argue and preach that homosexual relationships are intrinsically immoral, “Discussing Marriage” takes a very different tack, asserting that the marriage debate should not “center on issues of sexual morality or the moral status of homosexual persons.”

The website’s authors even express regret for the “pain that they have caused” as a result of having “engaged in hurtful dialogue in the past.” Of course, many gay men and women will see the very act of marshaling arguments meant to deny them the right to marry as an affront to their dignity. Still, the expression of contrition and effort to uphold a high standard of civility is admirable.

The website is here. Below is one their five videos so far. The author of the above-linked piece says that while there are no credits or masthead on Discussing Marriage, the influence of former NOM chairman Robert George “can be detected on every page.”  I don’t know about that, Robert George isn’t exactly known for being “thoughtful and measured.”