Monday, July 14, 2008

An odd thing

I never heard of David Benkof until today, when I learned he'd suddenly decided to abandon his blog ( and disassociate himself from the Proposition 8 campaign in California. His cryptic last post:
It is with great sadness that I announce that I feel I must withdraw from openly supporting man-woman marriage in the United States. I recently learned quite a bit of disturbing information that makes it impossible for me to continue supporting a movement I no longer respect. I have not yet decided when or even if I will write about why I’m ending my participation in this debate.
I’d like to thank Maggie Gallagher of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy who got me started with blogging at and encouraged me to create my own blog, which ultimately became I’d also like to thank the dozens of commenters, both those who agree with me and those who disagree, who have made this Web site a true place of conversation rather than just another pro-man-woman-marriage site.
In case you’re wondering:
1) I do not advocate that people give time or money to the Proposition 8 campaign in California.
2) People should vote their consciences on the ballot measure. I’m not a California voter, but if I was, I’d probably hold my nose and vote yes, though I can’t be sure.
Have a good summer, everyone!
-David Benkof

I have no idea what scandalous discovery caused Benkof to decide to pull the plug. In a message to a pro-gay site, Benkof said:
"I no longer feel comfortable being allied with the people running the Prop. 8 campaign, and the same-sex marriage movement in America in general, with a few exceptions - most notably Maggie Gallagher. I have made a tentative decision not to publicize the disturbing information that caused me to end my promotion of man-woman marriage in the United States. But there is very little that I know about those subjects that a journalist, blogger, or activist cannot find out through diligent googling and asking the right questions of the Prop. 8 campaign."

Which suggests to me that it's some action by the activists behind the ballot initiative that Benkof is protesting. Benkof appears to be a relative newcomer to political activism, and a True Believer type motivated by idealism. It might be that whatever "disturbing information" he's protesting is the kind of thing that wouldn't really shock someone who's been around politics long enough to become accustomed to the extreme cynicism of that nasty racket. But it's curious that he would go out of his way in his farewell to praise Maggie Gallagher, who remains committed to the movement that Benkof suddenly finds untenable.


  1. Sen. McCain-

    I'm not naive. It's not like I found someone embezzling or saying something they don't believe. This is worse. It's systemic, and it's unacceptable to me.

    As for Maggie, I won't speak for her, but you shouldn't either.

  2. To clarify: I am making no hints about Maggie's perspective or ideas. I just think she's perfectly capable of stating her own thoughts and neither of us should try to speak for her.

  3. "This is worse. It's systemic, and it's unacceptable to me."

    That is exactly how I, and many Americans, feel about denying homosexuals the right to marry.

    Rather than asking the government to systematically discriminate against a group of individuals, the solution should be to take government out of the marriage business all together:

    Gay Marriage: Separating the Ecclesiastical from the Civil

    Giving marriage back to the churches would most likely reduce the 50% divorce rate in this country as well. Divorce is doing more harm to society than gay marriage ever could.

    Besides, people really should have learned by now that everything the government touches turns to shit, including marriage.

    (Mr. Benkof, R.S. McCain is not Senator McCain, but he could be one some day!)

  4. Rae-

    Thanks for the info, I had a hunch he wasn't Sen. McCain but I wanted to be sure. And please, not that tired 50% divorce statistic again. It's a complete urban legend (check Show me a verified academic study that says 50% of marriages end in divorce and I'll organize a parade for you. It's not going to happen. People who want to further deteriorate society's morals by instituting something I no longer talk about love to cite that statistic because hey, if America's morals are already in the decline why not make them decline further? But if you're going to make a radical change to American society, you've gotta use real statistics.