Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Pride, Take Two

Holy shit.

David Blankenhorn, of the Institute for American Values and the Family Scholars Blog, has changed his views on same-sex marriage. Blankenhorn has written a book opposing same-sex marriage and was a key witness against it in California's Prop 8 case.

I highlight the following snippets from The New York Times:
"I had hoped that the gay marriage debate would be mostly about marriage’s relationship to parenthood. But it hasn’t been. Or perhaps it’s fairer to say that I and others have made that argument, and that we have largely failed to persuade. In the mind of today’s public, gay marriage is almost entirely about accepting lesbians and gay men as equal citizens. And 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. 

I had also hoped that debating gay marriage might help to lead heterosexual America to a broader and more positive recommitment to marriage as an institution. But it hasn’t happened. With each passing year, we see higher and higher levels of unwed childbearing, nonmarital cohabitation and family fragmentation among heterosexuals. Perhaps some of this can be attributed to the reconceptualization of marriage as a private ordering that is so central to the idea of gay marriage. But either way, if fighting gay marriage was going to help marriage overall, I think we’d have seen some signs of it by now. 

So my intention is to try something new. Instead of fighting gay marriage, I’d like to help build new coalitions bringing together gays who want to strengthen marriage with straight people who want to do the same. For example, once we accept gay marriage, might we also agree that getting married before having children is a vital cultural value that all of us should do more to embrace? Can we agree that, for all lovers who want their love to last, marriage is preferable to cohabitation? Can we discuss whether both gays and straight people should think twice before denying children born through artificial reproductive technology the right to know and be known by their biological parents? 

Will this strategy work? I don’t know. But I hope to find out."

Honestly, I have to digest this news a little.

I'm not sure how it will play it in the larger cultural debate about same-sex marriage and in various amendments and propositions seeking to ban it, but I do appreciate the acknowledgement that bans on same-sex marriage do little or nothing to make heterosexuals more serious and responsible about marriage and procreation. That's a huge concession to publicly state.


1 comment:

Comrade Svilova said...

Wow. I have to say, I expected something like this from him, but not so soon. Good for him for recognizing that SSM is not a threat to marriage, and for realizing that anti-gay animus is often behind the anti-SSM position.