American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Are ‘Family Values’ Outdated? The New York Times Guest Contributors Debate.

As The New York Times points out, the ideal of family has played a prominent role in Republican campaigns, but is it still a worthy goal for public policy?  Within the past several years, especially since Ted Olson and David Boies came together to bring AFER’s lawsuit challenging Prop. 8,  no longer is the debate about marriage for gay and lesbian couples an issue that divides our country, but a value that brings it closer together.

A Room For Debate discussion in the opinion pages of The Times features guest contributors answering the question “are ‘family values’ outdated?” Here are few highlights.

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, University of Iowa College of Law professor:

This year, the 45th anniversary of the Loving decision, we all should take heed of these words from Mildred Loving: “My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. … I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. … That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

R. Clarke Cooper, Army combat veteran, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans:

I personally strive to secure the freedom to marry because I am a Christian and a family values conservative, not in spite of being one.

Linda Waite, University of Chicago sociology professor and a co-author of “The Case for Marriage”:

Let’s value the families that work hard and raise strong children and support them in their efforts. It’s time to put “family values” in perspective and to value all successful families, however they get there.

Check out these pieces and more at, and previous Room for Debate contributions to the question “Is support for gay rights still controversial?