Another Gay Marriage Foe Evolves

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Anyone who witnessed the Prop. 8 trial in 2010 (and sadly few did since the U.S. Supreme Court banned cameras in the courtroom at the last minute) remembers the testimony of David Blankenhorn as one of the highlights.

Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values, testified that allowing gays and lesbians to wed would undermine traditional marriage. That's when the fireworks began.

During hours of withering cross examination by Prop. 8 opponent David Boies, Blankenhorn bickered, argued and stonewalled -- often refusing to answer Boies' "yes or no" questions with a one word answer.  Speaking of marriage at one point Blankenhorn said, "If you change the definition of the 'thing', it is hard to imagine how it wouldn't have an impact on the 'thing'."

It left both men -- and Judge Vaughn Walker -- a little exasperated.

Boies also questioned Blankenhorn's appearance as an "expert witness." (Blankenhorn earned a masters degree in England, where he studied the history of labor unions.)

Under persistent questioning by Boies, Blankenhorn was forced to acknowledge that legalizing same sex marriage would most likely "improve the well being of gay and lesbian households and their children."

Blankenhorn also confirmed an earlier statement in a 2007 book that the U.S. would be "more American on the day we permit same-sex marriage than we we were on the day before."

A perfect witness for Prop. 8 Mr. Blankenhorn was not. And his ambivalence on the stand makes his conversion to same sex supporter less than surprising.

The question now is how far will he go? Will he file an amicus brief for the opponents of Prop. 8 if and when it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court? Where does his evolution end?

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