Fairly Ineffective Prop. 8 Defender Now Supports Gay Marriage

David Blankenhorn, one of only two witnesses supporters of Proposition 8 actually called upon to defend California’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage recognition, announced he has switched sides. He explained his new attitude Friday in a New York Times commentary:

For me, the most important is the equal dignity of homosexual love. I don’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.

Another good thing is comity. Surely we must live together with some degree of mutual acceptance, even if doing so involves compromise. Sticking to one’s position no matter what can be a virtue. But bending the knee a bit, in the name of comity, is not always the same as weakness. As I look at what our society needs most today, I have no stomach for what we often too glibly call “culture wars.” Especially on this issue, I’m more interested in conciliation than in further fighting.

A third good thing is respect for an emerging consensus. The population as a whole remains deeply divided, but 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.

Blankenhorn’s reversal probably actually isn’t much of a surprise to close followers of the Proposition 8 trial. Blankenhorn’s claim to fame during the trial was essentially conceding that recognizing gay marriage could help stabilize same-sex families and improve the welfare of children in same-sex families. Mostly, he served as a self-described “transmitter” of research by other scholars on same-sex marriage who did not testify.

In other news as the battle for the gay marriage recognition marches its inevitable but fabulous (happy Pride month!) route to the Supreme Court, House Republicans have announced they will ask justices to rule on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

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  • John||

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....47733.html

    I think it is the class and decorum exhibit by the gay rights movement, which run almost entirely by the socialist left, that is really going to put gay rights over the top.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tolerance, inclusiveness, and equality in action!

  • T o n y||

    Yes you're both so "respect the office" and "be tolerant" when it comes to Obama.

  • sarcasmic||

    I never claimed to "respect the office" or "be tolerant" with respect to anything, so what's your point?

  • T o n y||

    That it's rich when the most foul-mouthed emotionally invested partisans get on a high horse about others not living up to a certain standard of decorum.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    That it's rich when the most foul-mouthed emotionally invested partisans get on a high horse about others not living up to a certain standard of decorum.

    Don't be so hard on Ed Schultz. He preaches to a choir dumber than he is.

    Tony w/spaces, you are the worst sockpuppet ever.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The point is that Tony hasn't hit his idiot quota yet.

  • sarcasmic||

    I guess so.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Yes you're both so "respect the office" and "be tolerant" when it comes to Obama.

    Fuck the office (lese majeste is not a crime in America, P h o n y) and Obama can hit the bricks with both cheeks.

  • Paul.||

    “Yeah, fuck Reagan,” reiterates Hart one week after the reception. “Ronald Reagan has blood on his hands. The man was in the WhiteHouse as AIDS exploded, and he was happy to see plenty of gay men and queer people die. He was a murderous fool, and I have no problem saying so. Don’t invite me back. I don’t care.”

    What're you talking about, you're a shoe-in for HUD secretary!

  • Paul.||

    Oh, and Brack "Murder Drone" Obama thanks you for your vote in November.

    Biden 2016!

  • John||

    It is funny how they believe their own fairy tales. If you want to talk about what killed a lot of gay people in the 80s, lets talk about the gay communities total refusal to believe AIDS was an STD or do something about the bath house culture even after it was obvious AIDS was an epidemic and people were dying.

  • T o n y||

    An epidemic of a deadly virus is not the victims' fault. Policymakers can be faulted for ignoring it, particularly when it seems they're doing so for reasons of bigotry.

  • John||

    Tony gay activists did everything they could to keep the policians from doing anything about it. People wanted to close down the bath houses and tell people to start using condoms. And the gay activists considered that to be an assault on their lifestyle and bigotry. And thousands of people died as a result.

    that is what people should be angry about.

  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but if someone dies playing Russian roulette, it's not their fault!
    I mean, it must be Smith and Wesson's fault for making the gun!
    But it certainly isn't the fault of the victim!
    /Tony is a moron

  • T o n y||

    If having sex is analogous to playing Russian roulette, then something's wrong with nature, not the people having sex.

    A lot of people have a lot of regrets about "the plague days." Not the right wing Christianistas, though. Their prescription has remained simple and unimpeachable: just stop being gay and maybe you won't get sick and die and burn in hell for eternity.

  • sarcasmic||

    I would say that engaging in activity where I could contract a fatal disease, in this case unprotected anal sex with one or more compete strangers, is analogous to playing Russian roulette.

    But that's just me.

  • T o n y||

    You're right. What's your point? People deserved to die for a mistake?

  • sarcasmic||

    What's your point?

    Not an epidemic. An epidemic is something that spreads through normal activity. Allowing a stranger to stick it up the poop-chute isn't what I would call "normal activity".
    Blaming "policy makers" and the religious right for the consequences of allowing a stranger to dump his load in the colon is absurd.
    What's my point?

    My point is that you are a complete and total fucking idiot.

    $

  • T o n y||

    It's a wonder you haven't contracted something given your apparent complete ignorance about how AIDS is transmitted.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    You're right. What's your point? People deserved to die for a mistake?

    Welcome to Evolutionary Biology--especially if those same people persist in behaviors that increase the likelihood of their sickness and/or death even AFTER being educated on preventative measures.

  • ||

    Who said anything about "deserv[ing] to die"?

    The deaths were a fact and largely due to risky behavior. The idea that Reagan withheld anything from AIDS research is pure bunk. Within months of people becoming aware of the issue there was more money going to AIDS research than to several of the other top killing diseases combined.

    Nobody "deserves to die" because they drove their car of a cliff either, they just do die.

  • R C Dean||

    If having sex is analogous to playing Russian roulette, then something's wrong with nature, not the people having sex.

    Russian rouletter is not a bad analogy for having unprotected sex while an epidemic of a fatal STD is raging in the very population you are dipping your wick into.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If having sex is analogous to playing Russian roulette, then something's wrong with nature, not the people having sex.

    Sex with random strangers and no prior knowledge of their sexual history. And KY Jelly does not exist in nature, unless you're into that whole dry butt-pounding thing, which is really a terrible idea from what I hear.

  • T o n y||

    Nature doesn't have adult diapers and baby doll outfits so what's your excuse?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Tony w/spaces, you are sick, twisted, disgusting pervert with an infantilism fetish. If it weren't for your equally infantile politics, I could almost respect you based solely on your abnormal sexual proclivities.

  • tarran||

    What's the government supposed to do Tony?

    Send a GS-9 to unroll the condom on your member for you?

    This isn't some pandemic sweeping through a town. It's a disease that can be completely avoided by a few very simple precautions.

  • T o n y||

    Exactly. So why has the Christian right and its politicians been so hellbent against sex education and condom distribution? It's barely an expense at all, but if the epidemic hit straight white suburbanites I somehow think a few more stops would have been pulled out in response.

  • John||

    So why has the Christian right and its politicians been so hellbent against sex education and condom distribution?

    Because they agreed with the gay activists in the early 80s who didn't want to believe HIV was an STD and didn't want to tell people to use condoms.

  • T o n y||

    So what's your point John? Even if that's true, the problem, as I have said repeatedly here, was ignorance. That is ignorance. Is that a crime punishable by death? What exactly is the point you're trying to make?

    90% of AIDS cases worldwide are among heterosexuals. What's your judgmental moralistic prescription for them?

  • John||

    It was intentional ignorance Tony. The doctors and scientists told them and they wouldn't listen. And now gay create this fairy tail that it was all Reagan's fault to cover up their own guilt. These assholes have the nerve to act like this after what they did? fuck them and fuck you and every other person active in the gay community for not holding them accountable.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And now gay create this fairy tail

    Freudian or pun intended?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Even if that's true, the problem, as I have said repeatedly here, was ignorance. That is ignorance. Is that a crime punishable by death?

    Since you have such a raging hard-on for "nature" (as you fail to understand it), yes, ignorance and stupidity in nature are often rewarded by death. Natural selection keeps a variety of tools in its toolbox.

  • T o n y||

    This place sure has a lot of vicious homophobic cunts.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The way the anti-smoking crowd is responsible for lung cancer deaths. If it wasn't for their bigotry against smoking, the government would have spent a lot more money to help the poor cancer victims whose condition isn't their fault.

  • T o n y||

    So having sex is analogous to smoking cigarettes?

  • BarryD||

    Having unprotected sex with strangers in a San Francisco bath house in the 1980s makes smoking a pack of cigarettes look like eating organic vegetables and running 3 miles.

    Blaming "policymakers" for the results of voluntary high-risk behavior done for the enjoyment of participants is ridiculous.

  • T o n y||

    Behavior changed hugely once the facts become widely known. The point is the research wasn't done, the facts weren't dispersed, and preventative measures weren't made available as fast as they could have been.

    Not to mention the fact that the only reason gay people were in such a subculture was because they weren't accepted into the mainstream one.

    Name another epidemic you think we should blame its victims for.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Name another epidemic you think we should blame its victims for.

    You've never had anything to say about obesity, have you Tony? Right?

  • T o n y||

    I don't like fat people but I also don't blame them for being fat. It can't be the case that we randomly and spontaneously produced multiple generations of lazy people who can't control their jaws. That means the cause must be environmental. If it were bird flu I'd think you'd rely on major government efforts, whether you claimed to like it or not.

  • ||

    That's fucking bullshit, Tony.

    Pointing out that ignoring risks has consequences is not the same as "blaming"; it is merely stating facts.

  • BarryD||

    The preventative policy measures that had been in place are ones that neither you nor I would support. Not many years earlier, these bath houses were illegal and would be raided by the cops and shut down. I doubt that's the "policy" you want.

    And WRT knowledge, the sickest, most mean-spirited joke of the early '80s was casually referring to AIDS as "anally-injected death syndrome." The risk was no secret to anyone!

    Look, I've taken risks in my life, for my pleasure and amusement. I've been on the lucky side of the equation. If I hadn't been lucky, though, it wouldn't be the fault of policymakers.

  • Juice||

  • T o n y||

    Policymakers are involved in every major disease, sexually transmitted or otherwise. You really wouldn't want to live in a world in which they weren't.

  • Paul.||

    For me, the most important is the equal dignity of homosexual love.

    And without the government recognizing that love, it doesn't exist.

    Arguing gay marriage as an equality issue makes sense to me. When you start talking about affirmation of your emotions by government licensure, you lose me.

  • -Umbriel-||

    Precisely. And the desire for government "affirmation" of public beliefs and concerns is at the root of a lot of our worst legislation.

    Equal rights under the law for all, but the sooner we get out of the habit of wanting government to give us a big warm hug, the better.

  • sarcasmic||

    Can a person look gay?
    If so, then that dude in the picture is queerer than a three dollar bill.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz||

    SARCASMIC: I think your "Gaydar" is working just fine.

  • BarryD||

    Yeah, I thought the picture was a stock photo of a gay man, happy about something.

  • BarryD||

    (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

  • R C Dean||

    I think my gaydar needs calibration. Its not distinguishing between beta males and gay males any more. Any suggestions?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That is quite possibly one of the worst arguments for gay marriage that I have ever read.

    1) Recognition or non-recognition of gay marriage is a legal issue. Non-recognition often intersects with, but is not equivalent to, denigration or stigmatization of same-sex relationships.

    2) Comity, mutual acceptance, etc once again has nothing to do with whether same-sex relationships are established as legally equivalent to gay marriage.

    3) The existence or non-existence of an "emerging consensus" is, once again, not an argument in favor of anything. I have no "respect" for a non-descript "emerging consensus". 30 years ago, there was an "emerging consensus" that homosexuality should be discouraged due to AIDs. Why should I "respect" either one of those "emerging consensus" as legitimate?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I'm not what you'd call a big supporter of the legal status quo, but this guy is either a moron incapable of forming a chain of logic, or a coward who wants to be part of the consensus of national elites that he refers to in his NYT article. Neither speaks particularly well of the man.

  • John||

    or a coward who wants to be part of the consensus of national elites that he refers to in his NYT article.

    Bingo!!

  • Scott S.||

    He was played by John C. Reilly in the West Coast play reenactment. Make of that what you will.

  • BarryD||

    It's the typical "progressive" excuse for thinking, though.

    I.e., "I think gay marriage should be legal because I have gay friends, because elites think it should, and because we should be more accepting of gay people."

    I think it's a trap. Things should not be legal because we like them, and illegal because we don't like them.

    Gay marriage, from a libertarian perspective, should be legal because it's not the government's place to define an essentially individual and to an extent, religious, relationship as "okay" or "not okay." It's the government's place to enforce contracts, applying the law equally and fairly.

    Someone who advocates individual liberty supports gay marriage EVEN IF he/she thinks gay relationships are revolting, silly, against my religion, or whatever. "I have gay friends" or, for that matter "all my enemies are gay", have NOTHING to do with it.

    That's the problem with the Culture War. Both sides are interested in making their personal feelings into laws. Neither side gives a shit about liberty.

    That's why I can't identify with either side, even when I agree with a particular position.

  • ptskahill||

    He talks about the whole decision in a public radio documentary that came out today. http://www.yourpublicmedia.org.....x-marriage

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Bad news for the SSM people...he was doing them more good as a purported opponent. Now they won't be able to say, "see, even your guy Blankenhorn agrees that..."

  • IceTrey||

    So this guy doesn't care about heterosexual same sex marriage? What a bigot!

  • FullForward||

    For me, it's a different story. I used to be an advocate of gay marriage, but now I am totally against it. I used to accept the fact that an individual was born homosexual, but now, due to clear evidence, I feel differently. Frankly, I don't care what you do behind closed doors, but it's not right to encroach your lifestyle on others. "Love" is not a strong enough argument, it is an abstract feeling, meaning different things to different people. It is not the same as a race or gender issue, because one cannot hide their race or gender, but one can hide their sexual orientation. One can lie to others about their sexual orientation. To others that think one evolves into accepting gay marriage, I have evolved into being against it.

  • R C Dean||

    it's not right to encroach your lifestyle on others.

    As a hetero male, I have never though gay marriage, or gay anything, encroached on me.

    In fact, I would even say that the most fun I've ever had at a wedding reception was when a gay wedding reception sort of . . . took over a restaurant where I was having dinner in San Francisco. If that didn't encroach, then nothing would.

  • RobM||

    Poor baby, did your girl leave you for another girl?

    (Hint: she's bi.)

  • BarryD||

    Somebody wasn't quick enough on his feet to suggest that both of them stay!

  • ChrisO||

    Executive summary: Blankenhorn doesn't actually believe in marriage equality, but since the issue a political loser, he's all for it now.

  • BarryD||

    Or maybe because his boyfriend threatened to break up with him if he kept on with that anti-gay shit on TV.

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