This morning’s USA Today features an article about Mississippi native David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values in New York, and author of the new book, The Future of Marriage (Encounter Books).Blankenhorn, the article notes, is sounding a warning about current redefinitions of marriage, precisely because fatherless “marriages,” regardless of their makeup, are damaging to children and, ultimately, to societies.

Blankenhorn tells the newspaper: “We’re either going to go in the direction of viewing marriage as a purely private relationship between two people that’s defined by those people, or we’re going to try to strengthen and maintain marriage as our society’s most pro-child institution.”

This may sound like conservative Christian boilerplate, USA Today observes, except that Blankenhorn is a liberal Democrat, a “warm-hearted Southern liberal,” who doesn’t oppose homosexuality or committed same-sex relationships. He just believes households without both mother and father, through intentional single parenthood or through divorce or through re-imagined marriage structures, are disastrous for children.

As Blankenhorn puts it, “the best institutional friend children have is marriage, and if grown-ups make a mess of it, the children are going to suffer.”