It is no surprise to traditional marriage advocates that they lost the Proposition 8 case that challenged the constitutionality of California voters to declare that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. Though not known at the time, the judge in the case was gay, and marriage advocates say he adjudicated that way, as well.
At the trial, David Blankenhorn, one of the only expert witnesses for traditional marriage, actually said under cross-examination that gay marriage would be good for America. Surprising no one, shortly thereafter, he came out publicly in support of same-sex marriage.
And in recent days, it was revealed that Charles Cooper, the conservative super-lawyer who defended Proposition 8, was even then a proponent of gay marriage. His adopted daughter was in a lesbian relationship and was recently married.
Monday night in Washington, D.C., David Blankenhorn is hosting the launch of a new same-sex marriage initiative, purported to bring together conservatives and liberals who favor strengthening marriage–both same-sex and opposite sex.
The host committee for the kick-off of the new initiative, though, seems to be short of what some on the right would consider full-spectrum conservatives.
It includes Patrick Sammon, founder of the Log Cabin Republicans; an activist judge from Georgia Leah Ward Sears; gay writer Andrew Sullivan; PR guru Charles Francis, who founded the Republican Unity Coalition once led by former President Gerald Ford and David Rockefeller and dedicated to making sexual orientation a non-issue in the GOP; and writer Danielle Crittenden, married to David Frum, the conservative who frequently vexes other conservatives.
The only notable conservative on the host committee would be American Enterprise Scholar Charles Murray. Three on the committee are connected to the liberal Brookings Institution, including the host for the evening, William Galston.
Blankenhorn is running this new project with Jonathan Rauch, openly gay journalist and activist with whom Blankenhorn has been in dialogue for years, even before Blankenhorn left his previous colleagues in the traditional marriage fight.
The Marriage Opportunity Project seeks to “end forever the conflict between gay rights and family values and to build a new pro-family, pro-equality consensus.” They say marriage in America “is moving in two directions. It is becoming more equal for gays and lesbians who have long been denied it and less equal for millions of lower and middle class Americans who are no longer able to achieve it.”
The project will “bring together 75 national thinkers/leaders for a founding conference in Washington, D.C., on October 2, 2014, and will release a founding document called “Marriage Opportunity: The Case for National Action.”
Monday night is a cocktail event at The Rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C.