If we spent less time arguing about what our differences are, I bet we could find more similarities between people who support and are against same-sex marriage. Pointing out differences and putting labels on people only pushes them further away," said a participant in an online dialogue on gay marriage sponsored in May by the American Friends Service Committee and Web Lab, a nonprofit New York think tank.
The peace-building dialogues brought hundreds from across the country together on the Internet to discuss this topic for several weeks.
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various religions who are committed to peace and social justice. Web Lab emphasizes bringing people together to discuss tough issues.
"It's a myth that people can't be civil on volatile issues," says Marc Weiss, Web Lab executive producer. "As any mediator, diplomat and church leader will tell you, people must feel safe and believe ... they will be heard without violent reprisal." He says people hunger for nuance in the national debate.
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