A conservative organization, the Third Way, has a column up in The Advocate telling the gays what they need to do to get marriage. They claim to have identified the "middle" on the issue (whatever that means) and to have studied them closely with psychologists instead of doing any sort of broader study of how to change people's opinions on the matter, plus the organization's goal is to advance a specific, conservative agenda, so take the advice with a grain of salt.
First, those in the middle feel like they are literally losing control of the definition of marriage because others are trying to change it. They think gay couples are trying to change marriage by making it into an individual contract that is primarily about rights and benefits -- rather than a bedrock institution that upholds our communities and society. So we need to show members of the middle that they are not losing control, because gay couples don't want to change the definition of marriage -- they want to join it. We can convey this sentiment by emphasizing that gay couples respect the institution of marriage and want to take on the responsibilities and obligations that go along with it. We need to reassure the middle that they won't have to change, by demonstrating that gay couples will have to conform to the current rules, including monogamy and fidelity, in order to participate in the tradition of marriage.
I personally wouldn't say that anyone who thinks that marriage is what's holding society up is "the middle," but let's just go with that for the sake of argument. What is the implication when we have to make gay couples "conform to the current rules, including monogamy and fidelity"? Since it's impossible to make the millions of LGB people out there actually monogamous with a spiffy ad campaign, are they simply implying that we lie?
The Third Way says, "This shift in tone would be controversial in many parts of the LGBT movement," which is the new way of saying "I lump all arguments about how this is stupid together and say I'm smarter than everyone." I'm not particularly controversed, especially since this is pretty much the argument that's already been made ad nauseum by the pro-marriage folks.
What I do take issue with is the idea that people are so dumb that if we put out ads talking about monogamy that people are going to be all, "Yeah, I guess the gays really do want to keep sex within the holy bounds of matrimony, just as they should be doing. Now come over here and get some lovin' before I have to go home to my wife." As gay men will continue to go to bathhouses while married to other men and open relationships will continue to happen, it seems like nothing other than buying into the same white-washing of human sexuality that straight people often do to themselves.
I'm generally opposed to any tactic not firmly rooted in truth since that should be the end point of any movement, and it seems like it would be counterproductive to just go out there and say that we're any more monogamous than straight people are. If something has to be lied for, do we really want it in the first place? I mean, I guess there are people out there who are that easily manipulated, but are we doing much for ourselves if we just exploit that stupidity? And how many people really are that stupid? (Is that really the "middle"? How were participants for this study found?)
The columnist has two more suggestions, the second that we have to explain why we want to get married (don't ask me for advice there; I don't want to get married) and the third is to ask for rights, not demand. I actually agree that there needs to be a change in tone, that in order to gain more converts we need to engage the other side as if they're decent adults who have real reasons for disagreeing instead of flaming, hateful bigots who want to kill all of us (some of them do, most of them don't) who must be marginalized instead of answered. While it's important to remind people that there are actual bigots out there, it's also important that that designation remains on those people who do something more than just show up and vote against same-sex marriage.