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June 27, 2012


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cf Excellent This American Life story some time ago on pro- and anti-abortion advocates secretly having meetings to try to thrash things out. They started hating everything about each other. They ended liking each other as people, but the process of arguing their points of view had made those points of view more entrenched.


Blankenhorn: "... the time for denigrating or stigmatizing same-sex relationships is over."

So, just a question of denigrating minorities at the right time.

Recantation or apologia?

Ian Leslie

Richard - your comment is in the exact opposite spirit to the one I was applauding.


I am unmoved by Blankenhorn's essay. He remains wedded to the idea that the ultimate purpose of marriage is child-rearing, and that gay marriage - to the extent its purpose is to raise children - is to be merely tolerated. He is still making the Catholic argument for marriage as a socio--biological convention, and has conceded nothing, really.

If this is "side-switching" then "sides" are fictions - Blankenhorn maintains the same narrow and utilitarian definition or marriage we've heard all of our lives, which is directly opposed to the Romantic definition of marriage as the fusion of loving souls implicit in the pro-gay marriage argument.

Ian Leslie

Blankenhorn has "conceded nothing". Except that gay marriage should be lawful. Blimey.


I agree that it is compelling to see someone change their views so openly, and I applaud that. However, I agree with some of Tom's comment.

I do not understand how Blankenhorn can prefer marriage to cohabitation for everyone, if marriage's purpose is "to unite the biological, social and legal components of parenthood". What of those couple (heterosexual or not) who choose not to have children? Are they 'allowed' to cohabit? If heterosexuals marry but choose not to have children, is their marriage more tolerable than gays who marry and remain childless, because they have the biological wherewithal to procreate without intervention, if they want to?

A commendable bow to the force of reason but it leaves plenty unanswered.



I find the idea that normal people change their mind for social reasons pretty compelling but I'm wondering if we go through stages as a society where changing your mind is considered an admirable thing to do and when it's not. I think sometimes I like to change my mind to prove that I'm not a totally orthodox left winger rather than because anything has really changed in the arguments people make. I'd be interested whether you think there have been times when changing your mind is something you can do as it were to show off that you're high minded. Just a thought.


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