Voice for Equality: Cynthia Tucker
June 23, 2010
Cynthia Tucker is an American syndicated columnist. She was recognized with a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2007 "for her courageous, clear-headed columns that evince a strong sense of morality and persuasive knowledge of the community". She was a Pulitzer-nominated finalist in 2004 and 2006.
On June 20, 2010, in reaction to David Blankenhorn's testimony at the Prop 8 trial in California, Ms. Tucker wrote in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
"There are no good arguments for denying gays and lesbians the right to a civil (non-religious) marriage. But of all the arguments that opponents make, perhaps the most ridiculous is this: If gays are allowed to marry, heterosexual marriage will be weakened.
"How, exactly, does that work?
"Despite the utter illogic of the argument, a nationally-known, so-called expert on marriage — David Blankenhorn, founder of the Institute for American Values — testified in California’s Supreme Court yesterday in a case challenging a law that prohibits the freedom to marry.
"Opponents of marriage equality in California rolled out their star witness Tuesday, an author and advocate who predicted that allowing gays and lesbians to wed would discourage heterosexual marriage and might lead to legalized polygamy.
"Extending marital rights to couples who cannot conceive children would change marriage from 'a child-based public institution to an adult-centered private institution' and 'weaken the role of marriage generally in society,' David Blankenhorn testified at a trial in San Francisco federal court on the constitutionality of the state’s ban on the freedom to marry.
"Blankenhorn, the trial’s last scheduled witness, said he believes 'leading scholars' share his view that marriage equality would weaken heterosexuals’ respect for the institution and accelerate a half-century-old trend of increased cohabitation and rising divorce rates.
"But under cross-examination by a lawyer for two same-sex couples, Blankenhorn was unable to cite any supporting statements or evidence for that conclusion from the scholars he relied on for his testimony, though he said he was sure some of them would agree with him.
... "Down through the ages, marriage has evolved as society has evolved. In the Western world, where women can control their reproduction and work at jobs that give them financial security, it has evolved into an institution that couples rely on for mutual support and fulfillment. That’s a high bar, which helps explain why roughly half of marriages end in divorce.
"That will not change when gays and lesbians are allowed to marry. They should have that right under the law. No church that opposesequality would be forced to perform one, but churches that do perform , like mine, should do so and have them recognized. (Marriage is a civil rite as well as a religious one. Couples get married everyday at courthouses and city halls around the country.)"
Freedom to Marry salutes Cynthia Tucker as a compelling Voice for Equality.