Former Prop 8 supporter Blankenhorn speaks out against MN marriage amendment

This week, Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition working to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would permanently limit the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, released a new video featuring David Blankenhorn speaking out against the amendment. Blankenhorn, the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, was presented as one of just a few key witenesses opposing the freedom to marry in California's Proposition 8 trial, and in 2007, he authored The Future of Marriage, which argued that children need both a mother and a father for a healthy childhood.
 
In June, Blankenhorn changed his opinion, publicly stating in The New York Times that the freedom to marry would be "a victory for basic fairness."
 
In the new video, Blankenhorn says that the constitutional amendment banning marriage in Minnesota would harm Minnesotans. He says: 
 
I came to a stronger appreciation in my own mind of the importance of accepting gay and lesbian people and couples into the mainstream of society. There are powerful reasons to believe that we will be a better society if we include gay and lesbian people and their relationships as full and equal parts of society. Gay and lesbian couples, in most respects, are not that different from straight couples. The ones that do have children are trying to be good parents, just like everybody else.
 
This is a pretty important conversation that we're having as a society. It's important to have it carefully - it takes a little time. Some people haven't quite worked it all out. But if you just - BAM - put it in the Constitution that forever and a day it's going to be this one thing, I think it's very harmful. Let's try to learn to share this space that we have together. To me, the rational approach is if you're not sure, don't put this in your Constitution. The good people of Minnesota should not do this because that's going to make it less and less possible for that coming together around some shared values to take place.

 

Back in June, when Blankenhorn first wrote in The New York Times that his opinion on the freedom to marry has changed, our founder and president Evan Wolfson commented on the shift in perspective. Wolfson said:

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. 

Blankenhorn's evolution on marriage is similar to the journey that many Americans are on right now: They are taking the time to speak with couples, understand why marriage matters, and realize that their opposition to the freedom to marry damages communities and violates the values of respect and love that are so important to our country.  

Watch the video, learn more about the freedom to marry in Minnesota, and read about all four of the states that will vote on marriage in November: