This entry is a favorite of mine from my LiveJournal
Below is an article was in our local newspaper, “The Indianapolis Star.”
Marriage: It’s for kids’ sake
March 14, 2004
If you want to peer into the crystal ball to see what family life will be like in the event we redefine marriage, look to Scandinavia. The equivalent of same-sex marriage has been legal for more than a decade, and the verdict is in — same-sex marriage has eroded the already rusty link in the chain between marriage and family.
Marriage is passe in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Marriage is so out of fashion that among those who do marry, some choose to keep it private to avoid embarrassment. Even more surprising, few homosexuals are taking advantage of same-sex unions. The heterosexual and homosexual marriage pool has shriveled so much that marriage and divorce statistics are difficult to interpret.
Author Stanley Kurtz, who has been parsing the data coming from Scandinavia, says this much is crystal clear — any form of family is acceptable.
Marriage is no longer seen as a precursor to parenthood. When heterosexual marriage is no longer seen as the norm, and marriage and parenthood are no longer seen as going hand-in-hand, married parenthood becomes an oddity. Disassociating heterosexual marriage from parenting is like splitting up the salt and pepper, but that’s exactly what has happened.
In Scandinavia, marriage has ceased being a big event in most young men and women’s lives. Many Nordic beauties have bid farewell to chunky issues of Bride’s magazine, engagement rings and bridal showers. Marriage once signaled the hallmark of maturity in the journey of life. Today the mark of maturity in Scandinavia is having a baby.
Couples become an item, birth a child and often live together for a year or so. Ultimately, however, couples can manage financially as individuals, so they tend to split and move to the next partner. And the next. It appears similar to that awful going-steady-and-breaking-up cycle of junior high, only with sex, and without end.
Who bears the brunt of all these adults sailing in and out of relationships and unable to cast anchor? Hint: They tend to be short, have soft cheeks, big eyes and like to sleep with teddy bears.
The majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock. Sixty percent of first-born children in Denmark have unmarried parents. An immense welfare state and state-run day care, funded by the enormous, albeit compulsory, generosity of taxpayers, attempt to fill the void of moms and dads, or moms and moms, and dads and dads, who opt not to tie the knot.
Our own nation’s link between marriage and family has been showing signs of rust for several decades. Less than half of our twenty-somethings believe it is immoral to have a baby out of wedlock. We already lead the world in single parenthood and divorce. So is now the time to dismantle marriage even further? All quite possibly at the expense of our kids? One small step for man, one giant tumble for the children of tomorrow.
Marriage under the best of circumstances is a mystery. Oh, let’s be honest. Some days it’s an outright miracle.
You do not tinker with a social, legal and religious institution that has stood as a foundation to nations and cultures for centuries without risking serious repercussions.
Whichever path we choose, we will all — married or unmarried, heterosexual or homosexual — live out the consequences, as will our children, our grandchildren and their children.
In the words of Margaret Mead, “As the family goes, so goes the nation.”
I responded to her with this….
Let’s Be Honest, For The Kids’ Sake
By Marti Abernathey
For the kids’ sake, let’s look at this logically with all the facts on the table. Mrs. Borgman insinuates that “The equivalent of same-sex marriage has been legal for more than a decade” in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Not one same sex marriage has ever been performed in any of these countries. Denmark adopted a registered partnership law in 1989 that grants most of the benefits and obligations of marriage. Norway and Sweden have similar cohabitation laws as well. The only countries that same sex couples can legally marry are The Netherlands (April 1, 2001), Belgium (January 30, 2003), British Columbia (July 8, 2003), and Ontario (June 10, 2003).
She continues on to suggest that “the verdict is in — same-sex marriage has eroded the already rusty link in the chain between marriage and family” and that “the heterosexual and homosexual marriage pool has shriveled so much that marriage and divorce statistics are difficult to interpret.” The insinuation is that gay marriage has caused the decline in the family and the separation of marriage and family. The studies figures show that only 2,372 gay couples had registered in nine years of the Danish registered partnership law in a country of 5.1 million people. In Norway (674 same sex couples registered out of 4.2 million people after four years) and Sweden (749 same sex couples registered out of 8.5 million people after four years) the number of couples that have registered against the total population are miniscule. Mrs. Borgman also neglects to add that registered partnerships in Scandinavia restrict or forbid adoptions or artificial insemination by gay couples! It’s curious that such a small percentage of couples have affected marriage so strongly. She and Mr. Kurtz both glaze over the increase in no-fault divorces, yet most studies suggest (no-fault divorces) have increased divorce 20 to 25 percent in the United States.
So where does Mrs. Borgman get her data? This theory she espouses is from an article written by Stanley Kurtz, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. The Hoover Institution is a conservative think tank that has strong ties to President Bush. Past or present fellows include; Richard Allen (United States National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan), George Shultz, Edwin Meese, Condolezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Thomas Sowell, Pete Wilson, Williamson M. Evers, John B. Taylor, and Newt Gingrich.
The burning question in my mind is who exactly is Stanley Kurtz. Turns out Mr. Kurtz graduated from Haverford College (Haverford is a liberal arts college founded in 1833 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)) where he majored in comparative religion. Stanley Kurtz went on to study comparative religion at Harvard Divinity School as well. Does anyone else besides me see a problem here?
She continues her diatribe saying “You do not tinker with a social, legal and religious institution that has stood as a foundation to nations and cultures for centuries without risking serious repercussions.” This argument sounds eerily familiar to the reasoning for a proposed amendment by Representative Seaborn Roddenberry of Georgia. Representative Roddenberry said that his amendment would uphold the sanctity of marriage. He said he took this action because some states have permitted marriages that are “abhorrent and repugnant.” He said he would like to “exterminate now this debasing, ultrademoralizing, un-American and inhuman leprosy.”
He warned, “Let this condition go on if you will. At some day, perhaps remote, it will be a question always whether or not the solemnizing of matrimony in the North is between two descendants of our Anglo-Saxon fathers and mothers or whether it be of a mixed blood descended from the orangutan-trodden shores of far-off Africa.” That’s right, he wasn’t talking about gay marriage but interracial marriage and the year he introduced this legislation was 1921.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.