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Witness testimony: Rights of gays 2nd to preserving marriage

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The founder of a family values think-tank testified Wednesday that the rights of same-sex couples should come second to preserving the cherished social institution of marriage.

David Blankenhorn, president of the New York-based Institute for American Values, said under cross-examination there are many valid reasons for allowing gays to wed, but the considerations are outweighed by the likely damage it would cause the already weakened state of heterosexual unions.

He acknowledged, however, that allowing gays to wed would have positive consequences for same-sex couples and society, such as scoring "a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion," reducing anti-gay prejudice and hate crimes, and creating a higher standard of living for same-sex couples.

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