Bitter splits over such issues as abortion and homosexual rights obscured broad and sometimes surprising areas of liberal-conservative agreement at last week's White House Conference on Families, a compilation of the votes there suggests.
Delegates were nearly unanimous in their support for such proposals as increased aid to combat drugs and alcoholism, which was the top vote-getter, help in caring for elderly parents and "flexitime" for parents who work.
John L. Carr, executive director of the conference, said, "The resolutions that got the greatest support involve the same issues that we heard the most about in our nationwide hearings. They are also the ones that people expressed strongest concern about in our Gallup Poll of American families. These are clearly the most pressing issues for most families."
Conference officials had been unhappy at the widespread publicity given to conference endorsement of abortion rights, homosexual rights and minimum income resolutions and released the vote analysis to counter the impression that the conference did nothing but battle over these issues.
Out of the 57 resolutions adopted, the one calling on more education and training on alcohol and drugs topped all others, passing 578 to 18. And two other resolutions, calling for treatment programs against "the drug and alcohol epidemic," also were among the top 10-vote-getting resolutions.
The second biggest vote-getter, passing 572 to 22, asked for aid to let elderly persons of limited mobility pay for in-home food and nursing services and care so they could remain at home instead of going to costly nursing homes and old-folks' homes. Two other resolutions in the top 10 demanded tax breaks for families that take care of elderly relatives at home.
The third biggest vote-getter, 569 to 21, sought to encourage arrangements for flexitime, special leave policies, day care and other arrangements so that parents can work without neglecting their children.
Finishing next were proposals to eliminate the "marriage penalty" which occurs when the federal income tax is sometimes greater for a married couple than for two unmarried persons living together with the same total earnings.
Recognition of the social and economic value of the homemaker -- was the chief demand of both the sixth and ninth top vote-getters. The latter demanded that assets accrued during a marriage and Social Security credits and pension rights be split equally between husband and wife.
Resolutions backing improved daycare facilities for working parents, comprehensive health services, programs to counter domestic violence, improve foster care and adoption aid and help people get jobs also finished high up.