Chalk up one for marriage equality. David Blankenhorn, the founder of the Institute for American Values and author of The Future of Marriage, announced in The New York Times that he now supports same-sex marriage, calling it “a victory for basic fairness.” It was a surprise move from the man who opposed marriage equality so much he was one of just a few witnesses to testify in favor of Proposition 8, the ballot measure that defined marriage as between a man and woman in California.
Blankenhorn wrote in an op-ed titled “How My View on Gay Marriage Changed” that he doesn’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 also argued that “most of our national elites, as well as most younger Americans, favor gay marriage. This emerging consensus may be wrong on the merits. But surely it matters.”
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, responded to Blankenhorn's op-ed with celebration, saying, “David Blankenhorn’s announcement today reflects the shift towards understanding among the majority of people when they hear the stories and see for themselves why marriage matters to same-sex couples. As the leader of a right-of-center think tank and network that promotes conservative values, David knows that children grow up best when they are raised in families that are treated with fairness, respect, and dignity. His journey towards marriage has been a long time in the making and he is a welcome addition to the majority of Americans who support the freedom to marry.”