One of the leading advocates of California's Proposition 8 – the controversial measure that sought to ban same-sex marriage – has now changed his position, saying the "time has come" to accept the reality of same-sex marriage as a civil right.
David Blankenhorn, whose book helped rally supporters of traditional marriage in California, had served as an expert witness against the constitutional challenge to the amendment that has been ruled unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
"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," Blankenhorn wrote in an op-ed piece last Friday in The New York Times. "But as a marriage advocate, the time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do. I'd like to explain why."
Blankenhorn's opposition to gay marriage revolved primarily around the right of children to be raised by a mom and a dad, saying that marriage was how society recognized and protected that right. But while opposing same-sex marriage, he did not challenge the right of same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.
"For me, the most important is the equal dignity of homosexual love … Whatever one's definition of marriage, legally recognizing gay and lesbian couples and their children is a victory for basic fairness."
The strategy that Blankenhorn used to fight for traditional marriage was to encourage heterosexual couples in America to recommit themselves to the institution of marriage. However, he noted, "that hasn't happened."
But what brings Blankenhorn's comments to light is that he now believes that bringing both gay and straight couples together who want to strengthen marriage is a good idea.
Not so, says Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council.
"That aspect of his op-ed is simply naive," Sprigg told The Christian Post. "If he thinks he's going to find people in the gay community that are supportive of his agenda for marriage including reducing cohabitation and out of wedlock births, I think he is not being realistic. Those folks are just not going to come around."
Sprigg also said Blankenhorn and other self-professed liberals who publicly espouse conservative positions put themselves between a rock and a hard place.
"I think the unrelenting pressure that he and others like Dr. Robert Spitzer come under makes it almost impossible for them to maintain their positions over the long haul," added Sprigg.
"Gay activists are extorting these changes from people by showcasing them when they change their tune. Those of us who are surrounded by other Christians find it easier to maintain our positions than those surrounded by people who are on the opposite side. But in the end, Scripture and the Word of God does not change."