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To the Editor:
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Re “How My View on Gay Marriage Changed,” by David Blankenhorn, the founder of the Institute for American Values (Op-Ed, nytimes.com, June 23):
While I am pleased that Mr. Blankenhorn realizes that his earlier views against gay marriage are growing less mainstream, his logic continues to confound. According to his article, gay couples — because they cannot conceive — undermine the notion that parenthood is fundamental to marriage.
If this is the case, what of couples who cannot conceive or those who choose not to for fear of passing on a hereditary illness? Do these heterosexual couples also undermine marriage?
Furthermore, Mr. Blankenhorn remarks that gay marriage is “a significant contributor to marriage’s continuing deinstitutionalization.” How could gay marriage, which is outlawed in 42 states either by constitutional amendment or law, have such a deleterious effect on an institution as old as society itself?
Mr. Blankenhorn rightly asserts that gay couples should enjoy the same rights as their fellow heterosexual citizens. But his path to this conclusion is marred by its own contradictions.
TRAVIS C. STALCUP
Honolulu, June 23, 2012
To the Editor:
I’ve read most of what David Blankenhorn has published since “Fatherless America (1995),” and have always been impressed. His work has been a mixture of solid scholarship, moral acuity and concern for our children, in an era that devalues all three.
I have just finished his Op-Ed article and believe that he has done the right thing, for the right reasons and in the right way. This explanation of his position and how he came to it makes clear that the welfare of children remains his primary concern, and it demonstrates his continued faithfulness to the public roles of scholar, student and citizen.
His legacy will be found in the lives of those whose childhoods were made more secure because of his research.
Jamestown, N.Y., June 23, 2012