A leading critic of Gay Marriage reverses his position – becomes a supporter of civil rights, opponent of homophobia

Gay rights groups have welcomed a surprise embrace of same-sex marriage by one of its previously most staunch opponents.

David Blankenhorn, who had been seen as a leading voice in the campaign to keep marriage solely between a man and a woman, has stunned his supporters by penning a column in the New York Times in which he now says he supports gay marriage rights.

“As a marriage advocate, the time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do,” Blankenhorn wrote in the column.

The move is remarkable given Blankenhorn’s high profile in the anti-gay marriage movement…

Not surprisingly the shock move – and the high-profile way in which it was announced – was welcomed by groups campaigning on behalf of gay marriage…

In his column Blankenhorn said that he now believed that extending marriage rights to gay couples could strengthen the overall institution of marriage within broader society, rather than weaken it…

He also expressed disappointment that much anti-gay marriage sentiment was based on prejudice against homosexuality, rather than any thoughts on the role of marriage within American cultural life…

Blankenhorn’s self-judgement reinforces what has been my position all along. I haven’t attacked those few Americans who felt there was a question about the institution of marriage which founded their opposition to gay marriage. I thought they were wrong. But, they were acting on a question of judgement – not bigotry.

Now that he’s turned against what he sees more clearly as an illegitimate point of social law, he also recognizes the necessity of opposing those who are fighting for a political act based on their homophobia, their bigotry.

Kudos to a man with an open mind – willing to learn to advance his own understanding.

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