One of the key ways of reframing issues will be to take a libertairian tact with issues involving the government: do you want the same government that you don't trust with your tax dollars...
-- to have the authority to kill people? (death penalty),
-- to dictate your medical care and second-guess your doctor (abortion),
-- to interfere with religion? (marriage)
-- or to tell you who you can love? (civil unions) etc.
Yes, perhaps they sound silly now, but do they sound any sillier than getting the goverment off you back by creating a flat tax did 10 or 20 years ago? Or labeling the estate tax the 'death tax'?
And as Cole notes, you don't have to convince everyone with these arguments, just a few hundred thousand in a few states. Also, oftentimes it isn't the fact that you have a slam dunk argument, but the fact that you have a counter-argument at all that helps folks to vote their conscience.
Meet Bubba: "...a lot of Democrats would like to see gay marriage or at least civil gay unions passed into law. This is a matter of equity, since gay partners can't even get into a hospital to see an ill partner because hospitals limit visits to close family.
This issue scares the bejesus out of the red states.
But if Democrats were sly, there is a way out. The Baptist southern presidential candidate should start a campaign to get the goddamn Federal government out of the marriage business. It has to be framed that way. Marriage should be a faith-based institution and we should turn it over to the churches. If someone doesn't want to be married in a church, then the Federal government can offer them a legal civil contract (this is a better name for it than civil union). That's not a marriage and the candidate could solemnly observe that they are taking their salvation in their own hands if they go that route, but that is their business. But marriage is sacred and the churches should be in charge of it...."