Former Proposition 8 supporter now believes in the freedom to marry

This morning, David Blankenhorn, who was presented as one of just a few key witnesses opposing the freedom to marry in California's Proposition 8 trial of Perry v. Brownwrote a piece in The New York Times expressing that he now supports marriage for same-sex couples. Blankenhorn is the founder and president of the Institute for American Values and the author of The Future of Marriage, the 2007 book in which he argued that children need both a mother and a father for a healthy childhood. In the same book, Blankenhorn famously contradicted himself by writing, "We would be more American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before."  

The new essay, titled "How My View on Gay Marriage Has Changed," calls the freedom to marry "a victory for basic fairness."

The piece is not entirely supportive of gay and lesbian couples, and significant passages of the essay should be examined with a critical eye, but in spite of these problems, Blankenhorn's statements supporting the freedom to marry represent how Americans are learning more about gay and lesbian couples and realizing that marriage strengthens families. 

His shift on the topic is representative of a large number of Americans, a majority of whom support the freedom to marry for all couples. 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 former opposition to the freedom to marry damages community and violates the values of respect and love that are so important to our country.