Redefining marriage is detrimental to the welfare of society.
This is the only argument the anti-LGBT lobby has left because it allows them to avoid any and all facts and talk entirely in bullshit. The “welfare of society” will never be concretely defined, nor will the impact that letting LGBT marry will have on said society be defined aside from, perhaps, links to debunked and discredited studies that “show” that LGBT make worse parents.
These things were the impetus for a conversation I’ve been having on Twitter, which began over the discussion of a new study that showed that children of LGBT parents score better on some metrics than their straight-raised counterparts and the debunked study by Mark Regnerus that showed that children from stable families do better than children from broken homes whose parents had at least one same-sex relationship one time. Regnerus’s study was, unsurprisingly presented as “LGBT parents suck at parenting.” Regnerus was also laughed out of the scientific community when it was discovered that his study was funded by bigots and that Regnerus is a bigot himself. It’s a study so shitty that not even the LGBT-hating, Prop 8-funding Mormons will use it.
But I digress.
And there’s the playbook. You don’t hate LGBT people, you just don’t want them to contribute to the degradation of society. When pressed for evidence, insert some long winded rhetoric about the institution of marriage and a few things that are universally recognized as societal ills like divorce and polygamy because everyone hates those. Are they related? Is there causation? Who cares!
But it’s impossible to hide forever. LGBT people’s relationships are just unequal. Hello animus.
That’s about where we’ve left off. I’ll continue to add if it keeps being interesting. But let’s talk about the degradation of society. First of all, there is no “degradation metric.” Anything you pick to show that, while scientifically sound itself, is going to contain bias when applied to the bigger picture.
He did have one thing kind of mostly right, the divorce rate is high. Well…sort of. We don’t really know what an appropriate divorce rate is. Ideally it would be zero, but that’s just not realistic and maybe not even ideal anyway as there are plenty of reasons to not want a contractual partner for life.
But no-fault divorce was a product of the 60s and 70s. The average year that no-fault divorce laws went into effect was 1973 and even if you remove the states that waited until the 80s and 90s, it’s still 1971 and change. Which could also be known as “after the divorce rate had already almost doubled.”
It declines further to 3.6 per 1,000 people if you extend the graph to 2011.
Out of wedlock births are also on the rise, but this can be attributed to more than just “cohabitation” (and can’t at all be blamed on LGBT) such as poverty, education, and access to contraception. It’s worth noting that teen pregnancy is typically lowest in liberal states with liberal sex education policies. And that abortion rates are lowest in red states due to social stigma and it being really, really hard to get an abortion in those states, not due to superiority of morality or policy.
The teen birth rate has actually been on a long steady decline since the 1960s. (Hmm, wonder if contraception had something to do with it.)
Homicides are also on a downswing.
Societal chaos! Sounds like someone needs to watch less cable news. Of course there is this:
The survey finds that the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.
The Landscape Survey confirms that the United States is on the verge of becoming a minority Protestant country; the number of Americans who report that they are members of Protestant denominations now stands at barely 51%.
While those Americans who are unaffiliated with any particular religion have seen the greatest growth in numbers as a result of changes in affiliation, Catholicism has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes.
Here’s what I think. Divorce is not the problem. It isn’t even part of the problem. It’s difficult to defend the thought that “people need fewer options in regards to something,” as a rational person, or, you know, as an American. Freedom baby!
Much like how abortion rates are a symptom of unwanted pregnancies, divorce rates are a symptom of too many unwanted marriages. But that’s also a larger symptom of another problem, outmoded views on relationships, be they in regards to family structures (no gays allowed!) or sexuality (no contraception or pre-marital fucking allowed!).
The “redefinition of marriage” argument is dumb because rational, maturing people redefine things all the time. If you don’t, you end up being a teen movie stereotype. Hell, people’s definition of themselves changes greatly as they age. Everything changes, because it needs to. Even (arguably) the most basic and universally accepted commandment “though shalt not kill” has been redefined a hundred times over as we introduce specifications like killing in war or self-defense, or the differences between murder, and manslaughter.
It’s an “argument” that ends up being rooted in animus because once you deconstruct the flimsy justifications there’s nothing to support it beyond “I don’t like LGBT individuals” or “I am superior to LGBT individuals” or perhaps most accurately “my definitions should be everyone’s definitions.”