Cory Leonard

David Blankenhorn’s New Coalition for Marriage

In politics on February 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

This is a fascinating take on the same-sex marriage debate.  Blankenhorn’s Institute for American Values, as correctly stated below, has never invoked religious arguments in its defense of the civilizational importance of the institution of marriage.  By taking this shift he is politically reframing his argument–still in support of marriage, but with a nod to the current social climate and with the changes occurring in states:

“While the nation’s attention is riveted by a debate about whether a small proportion of our fellow citizens (gays and lesbians) should be allowed to marry,” the statement reads, “marriage is rapidly dividing along class lines, splitting the country that it used to unite.”

Nine states as well as the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage.

Though he has long been a foe of same-sex marriage, Mr. Blankenhorn, who was raised in Mississippi and attended Harvard, never invoked a religious justification and did not oppose civil unions for gay men and lesbians. Instead, he argued that heterosexual marriage was society’s most important institution, central to child rearing.

via In Shift, David Blankenhorn Forges a Pro-Marriage Coalition for All – NYTimes.com.

Will his approach work?  One challenge in taking such a centrist (pragmatic?) tack is you will antagonize one side (or both).  And while Blankenhorn may be pegged as opportunistic, his change in thinking has been publicly documented.

 

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