David Blankenhorn, a onetime marriage equality opponent who has come around to a supportive position, and Jonathan Rauch, a gay author and marriage equality advocate, discussed finding common ground this week on the public radio show On Being.
Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values, testified in court in favor of California’s anti–marriage equality ballot measure Proposition 8, but this year he wrote a pro-equality op-ed in The New York Times. He described his change of heart to On Being host Krista Tippett.
“I grew in my feeling of the importance of accepting gay and lesbian people as equal members of the society,” Blankenhorn said. “I grew in my recognition of the prejudice that has existed and continues to exist, including in me. I came to realize that the radicals that wrote the books about queer theory and so forth were different than many of the ordinary gay and lesbian couples who were just living their lives and weren’t that different in most respects than heterosexual couples.”
Rauch added that gay couples can help the straight majority “fix” marriage. “You guys are going to have to fix it, and we can actually, I believe, help fix it by trying to set good examples and creating more social capital and more marriages for society,” he said. He is the author of Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.
Blankenhorn also recently recorded a video detailing his opposition to Minnesota’s anti–marriage equality constitutional amendment, which goes before voters November 6. Watch the video below, and find the transcript and audio of the On Being episode here.