The Right is Wrong Again: Gay Marriage Does not Hurt Marriage8 September, 2009
Six years ago, the state supreme court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts handed down the utterly radical decision that human rights applied to all humans. Not heterosexual humans. Not Christian humans. Not conservative humans. All humans. Including Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered humans. Which meant, of course, that gay marriage, which is a civil human right (not a religious right), had to be legal in the commonwealth.
And, of course, the reaction of the radical right fringe of America was quick:
President Bush said the ruling was “deeply troubling.”Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman,” Bush said. “If activist judges insist on re-defining marriage by court order, the only alternative will be the constitutional process. We must do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage.” (From CNN)
The President wasn’t alone. Rick Santorum declared that gay marriage would lead to man-on-dog being legal, too. Focus on the Family founder and chairman
. . . James C. Dobson predicted on his radio program that allowing same-sex marriage in the United States would lead to “group marriage,” “marriage between daddies and little girls,” or “marriage between a man and his donkey.” Dobson called this vision of the future “more or less a prophecy,” though, he stressed, not a “divine prophecy, but a prediction.” He said that his specific examples, as well as “anything allegedly linked to civil rights,” will be “doable, and the legal underpinnings for marriage will have been destroyed.” (From MediaMatters)
A friend of mine agrees with Santorum (and Dobson) that legalizing gay marriage means that anything goes — dog, child, polygamy, polyandry, and even goats (not sure his fascination with goats, but it comes up every time). Reginald Genovese, an asshat who used to comment here, even thinks that gay marriage is to blame for our economic crises.
Right wing radicals, both religious and political, keep claiming that gay marriage will be bad. The bible says it is bad. Preachers say it is bad. They have, repeatedly, claimed that gay marriage will destroy the institution of marriage. None of them have ever been clear about how extending human rights to humans will be bad, but WE WERE WARNED. Gay marriage will DESTROY AMERICA!!1!! So I guess that all that bad things happening to marriage in Massachusetts is caused by gays getting married.
Luckily, we can actually measure just how bad things have gotten on the marriage front:
Opponents of same-sex marriage reject it on religious and moral grounds but also on practical ones. If we let homosexuals marry, they believe, a parade of horribles will follow — the weakening of marriage as an institution, children at increased risk of broken homes, the eventual legalization of polygamy and who knows what all.
Well, guess what? We’re about to find out if they’re right. Unlike most public policy debates, this one is the subject of a gigantic experiment, which should definitively answer whether same-sex marriage will have a broad, destructive social impact.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire have all decided to let gays wed. Most of the remaining 44 states, however, are not likely to follow suit anytime soon. So in the next few years, we will have a chance to compare social trends in the states permitting same-sex marriage against social trends in the others. (From the Chicago Tribune)
Bruce Wilson, over at Huffington Post, has some great information about just how much gay marriage has damaged the traditional family structure:
Provisional data from 2008 indicates that the Massachusetts divorce rate has dropped from 2.3 per thousand in 2007 down to about 2.0 per thousand for 2008. What does that mean? To get a sense of perspective consider that the last time the US national divorce rate was 2.0 per thousand (people) was 1940. You read that correctly. The Massachusetts divorce rate is now at about where the US divorce rate was the year before the United States entered World War Two.
Back in summer 2006, after more than a year of poring over accumulating data I reported what was, to my mind, a foregone conclusion; after two years of legal gay marriage, the Bay State still boasted the lowest divorce rate of any state in the nation. That was notable in light of the absurdly histrionic claims made by leaders on the Christian right that legal gay marriage in Massachusetts would be an “apocalypse” that would destroy the institution of marriage and lead to the destruction of Western Civilization or even the Earth itself.
Looks like allowing human rights for all humans did not hurt the family, or the institution of marriage, or destroy America, or any of the other absurdities being spouted by the radical right wing. Instead, Massachusetts now has a lower divorce rate than it did when the legalized gay marriage. Oopsie.
Here is the $64,000 question: When will the media realize that virtually every single prediction made by the radical religious and political right has been wrong. From the scare tactics of the 1930s regarding Social Security to the same scare tactics in the 1960s regarding medicare, from which side of the Laffer curve we are on to every aspect of the war in Iraq, from gay marriage to deregulation, the right has been wrong. And, I suspect, the right is wrong about the effects of health insurance reform.
And the radical right has also been wrong, every single damned time, about civil rights. Conservatives fought women’s suffrage, the Voting Rights act, the Equal Rights Amendment, and fought for torture and segregation. Why the hell is anyone still listening to these asshats?