This is my column that is running today at TownHall.com. I’ll post more on this later because 800 words is not enough to cover this very controversial topic.
Why not legalize same-sex marriage? Who could it possibly hurt? Children and the rest of society. That’s the conclusion of David Blankenhorn, who is anything but an anti-gay “bigot.” He is a life-long, pro-gay, liberal democrat who disagrees with the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexual behavior. Despite this, Blankenhorn makes a powerful case against Same-Sex marriage in his book, The Future of Marriage.
He writes, “Across history and cultures . . . marriage’s single most fundamental idea is that every child needs a mother and a father. Changing marriage to accommodate same-sex couples would nullify this principle in culture and in law.”
How so? The law is a great teacher, and same sex marriage will teach future generations that marriage is not about children but about coupling. When marriage becomes nothing more than coupling, fewer people will get married to have children.
So what? People will still have children, of course, but many more of them out-of wedlock. That’s a disaster for everyone. Children will be hurt because illegitimate parents (there are no illegitimate children) often never form a family, and those that “shack up” break up at a rate two to three times that of married parents. Society will be hurt because illegitimacy starts a chain of negative effects that fall like dominoes—illegitimacy leads to poverty, crime, and higher welfare costs which lead to bigger government, higher taxes, and a slower economy.
Are these just the hysterical cries of an alarmist? No. We can see the connection between same-sex marriage and illegitimacy in Scandinavian countries. Norway, for example, has had de-facto same-sex marriage since the early nineties. In Nordland, the most liberal county of Norway, where they fly “gay” rainbow flags over their churches, out-of-wedlock births have soared—more than 80 percent of women giving birth for the first time, and nearly 70 percent of all children, are born out of wedlock! Across all of Norway, illegitimacy rose from 39 percent to 50 percent in the first decade of same-sex marriage.
Anthropologist Stanley Kurtz writes, “When we look at Nordland and Nord-Troendelag — the Vermont and Massachusetts of Norway — we are peering as far as we can into the future of marriage in a world where gay marriage is almost totally accepted. What we see is a place where marriage itself has almost totally disappeared.” He asserts that “Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable.” But it’s not just Norway. Blankenhorn reports this same trend in other countries. International surveys show that same-sex marriage and the erosion of traditional marriage tend to go together. Traditional marriage is weakest and illegitimacy strongest wherever same-sex marriage is legal.
You might say, “Correlation doesn’t always indicate causation!” Yes, but often it does. Is there any doubt that liberalizing marriage laws impacts society for the worse? You need look no further than the last 40 years of no-fault divorce laws in the United States (family disintegration destroys lives and now costs tax payers $112 billion per year!).
No-fault divorce laws began in one state, California, and then spread to rest of the country. Those liberalized divorce laws helped change our attitudes and behaviors about the permanence of marriage. There’s no question that liberalized marriage laws will help change our attitudes and behaviors about the purpose of marriage. The law is a great teacher, and if same-sex marriage advocates have their way, children will be expelled from the lesson on marriage.
This leads Blankenhorn to assert, “One can believe in same-sex marriage. One can believe that every child deserves a mother and a father. One cannot believe both.”
Blankenhorn is amazed how indifferent homosexual activists are about the negative effects of same-sex marriage on children. Many of them, he documents, say that marriage isn’t about children.
Well, if marriage isn’t about children, what institution is about children? And if we’re going to redefine marriage into mere coupling, then why should the state endorse same-sex marriage at all?
Contrary to what homosexual activists assume, the state doesn’t endorse marriage because people have feelings for one another. The state endorses marriage primarily because of what marriage does for children and in turn society. Society gets no benefit by redefining marriage to include homosexual relationships, only harm as the connection to illegitimacy shows. But the very future of children and a civilized society depends on stable marriages between men and women. That’s why, regardless of what you think about homosexuality, the two types of relationships should never be legally equated.
That conclusion has nothing to do with bigotry and everything to do with what’s best for children and society. Just ask pro-gay, liberal democrat David Blankenhorn.