Prop 8 On Trial

Blankenhorn testifies about marriage, scholarship, and soul-searching

David BlankenhornThe defense this week called the long-awaited David Blankenhorn, an expert who attorneys had promised would help articulate why traditional marriage should be protected as such.  Blankenhorn’s name was highlighted in the defense opening, and as one of only two defense witnesses, he seemed to shoulder many of the party’s evidentiary hopes.

However, by the time Blankenhorn finished at least seven hours of testimony on Wednesday, it was not clear that he had aided the defense cause.  Not only had he conceded several plaintiff points, including that same-sex marriage would potentially reduce the divorce rate.  He had also given the impression that his testimony was largely the fruit of deep soul-searching, not the articulation of scientific conclusions.

Watching Blankenhorn was fascinating, if only because he seemed to embody the personal struggle that many Americans are navigating with regard to same-sex marriage.  Blankenhorn seemed to have weathered reconciling his own mind, heart, and statements on the matter.  But in a peculiar stance for an expert witness, he offered the sincerity of his journey as proof of the persuasiveness of his conclusions.

For more on this unusual episode, read on.

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