David Blankenhorn, star trial witness for the proponents of California’s Proposition 8, came out today in a New York Times op-ed as a supporter of marriage equality:
In my 2007 book, “The Future of Marriage,” and in my 2010 court testimony concerning Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that defined marriage as between a man and a woman, I took a stand against gay marriage. But as a marriage advocate, the time has come for me , to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do. . .
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.
In his op-ed, Blankenhorn also admits that opponents of marriage equality are driven not by religious beliefs, concern for “the family” or children (setting aside the fact that same-sex couples parent just as well as opposite-sex couples do, and that marriage equality strengthens families), or honest disagreement, but by an underlying hostility towards gay people:
. . . to my deep regret, much of the opposition to gay marriage seems to stem, at least in part, from an underlying anti-gay animus. To me, a Southerner by birth whose formative moral experience was the civil rights movement, this fact is profoundly disturbing.
Prop 8 Trial Tracker’s Scottie Thomaston points out that during the Prop 8 trial, when attorney David Boies asked Blankenhorn on cross-examination how marriage equality would harm heterosexual marriage, he replied “I don’t know.” Blankenhorn also admitted that the nation will be “more American” once marriage equality becomes the law of the land.
While it’s clear from Blankenhorn’s comments on the purpose of marriage and parenthood that his evolution on marriage equality and LGBT families isn’t complete, his reversal is nonetheless an important moment. Welcome, sir, to the right side of history.