Gay marriage: Is this the sound of freedom ringing? INN in 1969 was the site of the “riots” in New York City that touched off the gay rights movement. More than 40 years later, the state of New York legally welcomes gay marriage. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.Is legalized same-sex marriage the sound of freedom ringing? That’s the angle that appealed to rich Republican libertarians, according to accounts in both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. These libertarians threw their weight behind New York’s “Marriage Equality Act” and pushed it over the final political hurdles—into law.

Freedom is a core American value, as my national surveys show consistently—and as I have pointed out in earlier posts. Linking any bill to the principle of freedom is smart marketing. If my advice were solicited, I would have advised them to include “freedom” in the name: “Marriage Equality and Freedom Act.” Equality is another core American value. Citing both values in the law’s name would have been doubly effective.

But the principle of freedom was not the only consideration, according to media accounts. Several rich libertarians had gay friends, family, or acquaintances. As we discussed this week, actually knowing someone who is gay increases support of gay marriage. And that’s true for everyone, not just super-rich libertarians.

There’s another side to the freedom argument, say the editors of the National Review. The New York law could actually be constraining, they say, because it limits the definition of marriage to a narrow, perhaps outmoded model. Maybe it’s the 1950s’ Ozzie-and-Harriett ideal of the traditional family union.

New York is the largest state yet to support gay marriage.  Others may follow. As we end this week about the historic passage of the Marriage Equality Act, what are your thoughts?

Do you support same-sex marriage?

Do you support legalizing it?

Do you have concerns?

Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.



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