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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Answers to the National Organization for Marriage’s Questions, Number 7

On the National Organization for Marriage website, NOM answers questions supposedly posed to them by the opposition.

The question to NOM, Number 7. Isn’t divorce the real threat to marriage?
NOM's Answer: “High rates of divorce are one more reason we should be strengthening marriage, not conducting radical social experiments on it.”

In the first place, it's not divorce that's the problem (as if outlawing divorce would solve the problem), it's the reasons for divorce.  Unfaithful spouses, various addictions, workaholics, money issues, spousal abuse, and more contribute to why marriages fail.  Divorce is often the best solution to a failed marriage.  So to get serious about diminishing the rate of divorce means attacking it on a multiplicity of fronts.  It's a tall order.  But leaving this in the hands of the most vocal of supporters of traditional marriage is not, as we shall see, the answer.
Heterosexuals are the main cause of marriage failure.  Consider Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, Britney Spears and Jason Alexander, Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra, Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley, Elizabeth Taylor's eight marriages to seven husbands. This is in no way confined to the rich and famous, as we all know many couples whose marriages lasted for very short periods.  In the defense of the 50% failure rate, I once heard a professor of marriage and the family explain that this is almost miraculous, as since the early part of the 20th century, there is no reason for marriage whatsoever than Romantic Love.  All the former reasons, raising children to help with the farm, needing domestic help, needing a provider, wanting children, etc., no longer are necessary in today's world.  And Romantic Love is another contributor to the divorce rate, as people who believe they "fall in love" also believe they "fall out of love," as well.  In the professor's words, "I am surprised that the divorce rate is only fifty percent!"
It is a very peculiar thing that those opposed to same-sex marriage see it as a greater threat to traditional marriage than divorce.  All you have to do is measure the amount of time and money devoted to fighting same-sex marriage with efforts to ameliorate divorce.  
Yet, less than 5% of the population is likely to take advantage of gay marriage, not gays; it’s just a blip on the radar screen of threats.  It becomes less peculiar when we recognize that this tactic is really a subterfuge for promoting their real agenda, ending the push for same-sex marriage.  Some of the most outspoken people against same-sex marriage actually show by their own behavior strong contempt for the marriage vows. 
Take, for example, Bob Barr, Rush Limbaugh, and Newt Gingrich, just to name a few.  They all have been divorced multiple times and admitted to adulterous affairs.  And all are strong supporters of DOMA.  (It should be noted that Barr has since recanted his support and is actively opposing it.)
DOMA, of course, is the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by congress in 1996.  During a particularly stirring call for its passage by its sponsor, Congressman Bob Barr, (R-Georgia) he was asked by an opponent of the bill, “Mr. Barr, which of your three marriages are you defending?”
Most defenders of traditional marriage are nowhere close to these bad examples.  Yet none has been able to explain just how it is that allowing same-sex marriage will hurt straight marriages in any way.  But it is abundantly clear that divorce is a huge problem for traditional families. Yet, very little is offered in the way of workable solutions to diminish its impact on families.
A broad consensus of social researchers concludes that an intact family provides the largest measure of support for the future success of its children.  By keeping same-sex families from the legal benefits of marriage and not according them the common respect due any loving family, we are contributing to the continuation of family failure.  But to correct this we’d actually have to be concerned more about all children…not just children from traditional families.

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