In what can only be described as astonishing, the chief witness in favor of California's same-sex marriage ban announced today he has changed his position.
As SF Appeal is reporting, David Blankenhorn, president of the New York-based Institute for American Values, wrote an op-ed essay published in The New York Times today that indicates his shift on marriage equality.
"I opposed gay marriage believing that children have the right, insofar as society makes it possible, to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world," Blankenhorn writes.
He goes on to note:
"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."
He then concludes:
"Instead of fighting gay marriage, I’d like to help build new coalitions bringing together gays who want to strengthen marriage with straight people who want to do the same. For example, once we accept gay marriage, might we also agree that marrying before having children is a vital cultural value that all of us should do more to embrace?
Can we agree that, for all lovers who want their love to last, marriage is preferable to cohabitation? Can we discuss whether both gays and straight people should think twice before denying children born through artificial reproductive technology the right to know and be known by their biological parents?"
Check out a timeline of Proposition 8 below:
Jan. 3, 2000
California begins registering domestic partners, allowing same-sex couples: hospital visitation rights and health insurance coverage for the dependents of government employees covered by CalPERS, the state retirement system.
March 7, 2000
Proposition 22, a ballot measure which declares that marriage should remain between opposite sex couples, is approved by 61 percent of California voters.
Sept. 19, 2003
California Governor Gray Davis signs a bill that gives state-registered domestic partners additional rights that, although stop short of recognizing gay marriage, allow surviving partners the right to collect government benefits from his or her partner and obtain custody is a partnership is ultimately dissolved.
Feb. 12, 2004
Dozens of same-sex couples are married when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom instructs city officials to issue marriage licenses. The excitement is short-lived, however, and on March 11, the California Supreme Court orders the city to stop marrying gay couples after nearly 4,000 have received licenses.
Aug. 12, 2004
California's Supreme Court rules that Newsom overstepped his authority by allowing San Francisco to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the court also declares the nearly 4,000 couples "void from their inception and a legal nullity."
Dec. 21, 2004
A San Francisco judge hears arguments on same-sex marriages, which argue that the current law defining marriage as being "between a man and a woman" violates the state Constitution by denying gay couples the "fundamental right" to marry a person of their choice.
Sept. 29, 2005
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes a same-sex marriage bill after it passed the Senate and Assembly, arguing that it would wrongly reverse Proposition 22, which declares that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
Sept. 19, 2007
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders reverses his public opposition to same-sex marriage, saying he cannot tell his daughter Lisa, who is a lesbian, that her relationship with a partner is not as important as that of a straight couple.
Oct. 12, 2007
Schwarzenegger vetoes a bill approved by state lawmakers that would legalize gay marriage, saying the courts need to rule on the legality of Proposition 22, the gay marriage ban passed by voters.
May 15, 2008
The California Supreme Court rules that the state Constitution protects a fundamental "right to marry" that should also extend to same-sex couples, and that existing bans are unconstitutional.
June 2, 2008
The California Marriage Protection Act is submitted with over one million signatures. It appears as Proposition 8 on the November ballot.
Nov. 8, 2008
Despite an onslaught of opposition from LGBT activists and allies, Proposition 8 passes with 52 percent of the vote.
Aug. 4, 2010
U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker declares,"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the Court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."