Vocal Prop 8 Proponent Changes Tune

David Blankenhorn said in a Friday op-ed that his opinion has evolved.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Opponents of Proposition 8, California's anti-gay marriage bill, celebrate outside of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on February 7, 2012 in San Francisco.

    One of the proponent of Proposition 8's expert witnesses has come out in an op-ed in The New York Times that his opinion on gay marriage has evolved.

    David Blankenhorn, the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, testified in Perry v. Schwarzenegger in favor of passing Proposition 8, which would have made a constitutional amendment in California outlawing gay marriage.

    But in an opinion piece published Friday in The New York Times, Blankenhorn says his position has evolved and he hopes both straight parents and gay parents can work together to strengthen the institution of marriage.

    He wrote:

    No same-sex couple, married or not, can ever under any circumstances combine biological, social and legal parenthood into one bond," he wrote. "For this and other reasons, gay marriage has become a significant contributor to marriage’s continuing deinstitutionalization, by which I mean marriage’s steady transformation in both law and custom from a structured institution with clear public purposes to the state’s licensing of private relationships that are privately defined.

    I have written these things in my book and said them in my testimony, and I believe them today. I am not recanting any of it.

    But there are more good things under heaven than these beliefs. For me, the most important is the equal dignity of homosexual love. I don’t believe that opposite-sex and same-sex relationships are the same, but I do believe, with growing numbers of Americans, that the time for denigrating or stigmatizing same-sex relationships is over. Whatever one’s definition of marriage, legally recognizing gay and lesbian couples and their children is a victory for basic fairness.

    He continued by saying it is vital that there be respect for an emerging consensus and that "debating gay marriage might help to lead heterosexual America to a broader and more positive recommitment to marriage as an institution."

    The entire op-ed can be read at

    The New York Times' website