A Major Political Shift In Thinking About Gay Marriage

David Blankenhorn, a national figure in the movement against same-sex marriage, recently recanted his opposition, saying “the time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do.”

Mr. Blankenhorn, the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, wrote an influential book that argued against same-sex marriage in 2007, called “The Future of Marriage,” and served as an expert witness against the constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which limited marriage to heterosexuals. In June 2012, he said in an opinion article for The New York Times, published online, and in an hour-long documentary on NPR that his concerns about same-sex marriage remained, but that “the time for denigrating or stigmatizing same-sex relationships is over.”  Blankenhorn went on to say:

I opposed gay marriage believing that children have the right, insofar as society makes it possible, to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world,” he wrote in the article. He said he still held that conviction. But he added, “Whatever one’s definition of marriage, legally recognizing gay and lesbian couples and their children is a victory for basic fairness.     

While same-sex marriage advocates rebuke Blankenhorn, his revelation in this very heated political debate provides hope for families with same-sex partners, and surprisingly seems to advance the reasoning I set forth in my blog post over the summer.  That is, to protect the family as an institution, we need continuity in how we define the family so that we can better promote strong and healthy familial relationships.  Legislators, and policy advocates like Blankenhorn, need to consider the fact that by banning same-sex marriage, they are further fragmenting family relationships and denying to the children of these unions the benefits of being raised in a marital relationship.

For the full article:  Gay Marriage Gains Backer as Major Foe Revises Views

Lisa Steffek

About Lisa Steffek

Lisa Steffek is a third year student at the University of Houston Law Center. Lisa completed her Bachelors, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Texas in Human Development and Family Sciences. As an undergraduate, Lisa worked as a research assistant studying child attachment. Lisa also worked for several years at The Settlement Home, a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed adolescent females. Most of the girls at The Settlement Home had been removed from their homes by Child Protective Services, and Lisa worked with the girls to teach them life-skills and provided psychological treatment to prepare them for adulthood and the transition to foster homes. Lisa also worked for six years in various academic capacities at the University of Texas, including an undergraduate teaching assistant, graduate research assistant, and undergraduate writing consultant. Lisa has presented papers regarding human development at various academic conferences in the states and abroad, and has had her writing published in an international, academic journal.

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