The Thoughtful Voter’s Guide to Same-Sex Marriage

Date: 31 Aug 2012 | posted in: From the Desk of David Morris, The Public Good | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This November voters in four states–Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington–will be voting on whether to legalize or ban same-sex marriage.

After 20 years of debate one might reasonably ask why another report on same-sex marriage would be necessary. Our reply is that although the debate has been long it has often generated more heat than light.

We learn best through debate, by listening to both sides and sifting through the evidence they present. Too often, outside the courtroom where examination and cross-examination are the basis of judicial decision making, we hear only one side or the other. And in this case we too often lose the forest for the trees, failing to step back and examine the heated debates over the definition of marriage that have occurred throughout U.S. history and abroad.

That’s why we wrote, The Thoughtful Voter’s Guide to Same-Sex Marriage: A Tool for the Decided, the Undecided and the Genuinely Perplexed

We begin with a background that puts the current debate about same-sex marriage in a historical context. We then present both sides of the debate, with extensive footnotes that allow the interested reader to dig deeper.

We opted for thoroughness rather than sound bites. The result, we concede, is a long document that demands a willingness to spend some time on the issue. We believe the reader will find the time spent rewarding. The issue itself is one of the most important ever put before voters.

Download The Thoughtful Voter’s Guide to Same-Sex Marriage: A Tool for the Decided, the Undecided and the Genuinely Perplexed

The Guide is also in print.  Bulk copies are available for as little as 50 cents apiece if ordering over 50.  For more information contact David Morris at


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David Morris

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and currently ILSR's distinguished fellow. His five non-fiction books range from an analysis of Chilean development to the future of electric power to the transformation of cities and neighborhoods.  For 14 years he was a regular columnist for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. His essays on public policy have appeared in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, Washington PostSalonAlternetCommon Dreams, and the Huffington Post.