Sunday, May 18, 2014

10 Years Later, Where Is the Gay Marriage Disaster?

Us at an EV "CookOUT" event with another married couple
As they see themselves losing in court case after court case across the country, the Christofascists continue to come up with ever more insane arguments of how same sex marriage will destroy "the sanctity of marriage" and by extension civilization itself.  From Mark Regnerus' bogus and discredited "study" attacking gay parenting to claims that same sex marriage will somehow discourage straight couples, especially straight males, from marrying, the disingenuous batshitery gets ever more unhinged from objective reality.   Meanwhile, from the data available, states that have legalized same sex marriage have lower divorce rates and fewer teen pregnancies and single mothers - things the Christofascists like to decry - than do the states across the Bible Belt.  Indeed, the data suggests that gay marriage combats the ills the Christofascists claim to want to reduce.  A piece in Huffington Post looks at the data to date.  Here are excerpts:

It's been 10 years since same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts. So, precisely what are the results of this deregulation? Anti-gay activists predicted disaster for "the family," but were always quite vague about how.

Of course, they may claim that 10 years is not enough time to gage the extent of the disaster, but surely trends should have already emerged. Exactly how much time is necessary?

In Massachusetts we don't see collapse of birth rates. The trend line has been downward, but that has been true of the entire country for almost 60 years. That trend will increase because we have an aging population. All this unrelated to marriage deregulation. There is a lot of good news in that trend line, however.

Teen birth rates have been falling. Actually, both teen pregnancy and single motherhood, which conservatives think are bad things, have been falling. They remain highest in states utterly opposed to same-sex marriage and lowest in states that deregulated spousal choice. In Massachusetts, teen birth rates are at the lowest levels ever recorded there; they have the second lowest teen-pregnancy rate in the nation. Out of the 10 states with the lowest teen pregnancy rates, nine of them recognize same-sex marriage.

Another no-no on the Right is single motherhood, so they should be praising Massachusetts, not damning it. There, the percentage of unmarried mothers is 34.6 percent compared to the national average of 40.8 percent.

Men and women in Massachusetts do wait a few years longer to marry than Americans in general, but as Pew Research notes, a higher median age at marriage correlates with "high shares of college-educated adults.... Indicating that highly educated individuals marry later in life." It also means they divorce less. In less-educated states, which tend to be ones most opposed to spousal deregulation, "adults are more likely than average to marry three or more times."

Whereas 5 percent of all U.S. adults have been married three or more times, the percentage in Massachusetts is just 2 percent. When it comes to divorce in general, the latest Statistical Abstract from the Census Bureau, for 2009, shows Massachusetts having the lowest divorce rate in the country. 

What has been true in Massachusetts has been true nationally. Marriages in states that regulate spousal selection according to gender are less stable.
As is always the case, the facts do not support the screeds of the Christofascists.  The real threat to marriage is the ignorance and stupidity embraced by the Christofascists as a mark of honor. 

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