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June 11th, 2008

I’m Entitled To My Own Opinion…And To My Own Facts For That Matter…

Rick Santorum sounds the alarm about same sex marriage…

The Elephant in the Room: A wake-up call on gay marriage after ’03 alarm went unheeded

By Rick Santorum
Posted on Thu, May. 22, 2008

Bigot! Hate-monger! Homophobe!

Those were just a few of the terms hurled my way in 2003 when I said that the Supreme Court’s Texas sodomy decision opened the door to the redefinition of marriage.

When I wasn’t ducking the epithets, I was being laughed at, mocked, and given the crazy-uncle-at-the-holidays treatment by the media. Or I was being told I should resign from my leadership post by some Senate colleagues.

Five years later, do I regret sounding the alarm about marriage? No.

I’m just saddened that time has proved right those of us who worried about the future of marriage as the union of husband and wife, deeply rooted not only in our traditions, our faiths, but in the facts of human nature: as Pope Benedict said, "The cradle of life and love," connecting mothers and fathers to their children.

So sad…  So sad…  So tell us how were you proven right Rick…

The latest distressing news came last week in California. The state Supreme Court there ruled, 4-3, that same-sex couples can marry.

No kidding?  Wow… 

Look at Norway. It began allowing same-sex marriage in the 1990s. In just the last decade, its heterosexual-marriage rates have nose-dived and its out-of-wedlock birthrate skyrocketed to 80 percent for firstborn children. Too bad for those kids who probably won’t have a dad around, but we can’t let the welfare of children stand in the way of social affirmation, can we?

No Kidding?  Wow.  Wait…what…?

Majority in Norwegian parliament agrees on new law allowing gay weddings, adoptions

AP
2008-05-29 

OSLO, Norway (AP) – Two Norwegian opposition parties on Thursday backed the rights of gay couples to marry in church, adopt and have assisted pregnancies, effectively assuring the passage of a new equality law next month.

The ruling three-party government proposed a law in March giving gay couples equal rights to heterosexuals but disagreements within the coalition cast doubt on whether it would receive enough votes to pass.

But two opposition parties announced Thursday they were backing the proposals, a move welcomed by gay rights groups, which should ensure a parliamentary majority and allow the law to be passed.

Okay…in other words…  Norway suffered a staggering rise in out of wedlock births and an equally staggering decline in heterosexual marriages since it began allowing same-sex marriages in the 1990s, and just one week after your column warning us about that Norway’s parliament announces it is ready to give same sex the right to marry.  No you drooling sack of Santorum, Norway hasn’t had same-sex marriage since…it was 1993 since you couldn’t be bothered to check the actual date either.  It’s had a form of civil unions.

Okay…fine…so it was civil unions that caused the decline in Norway then…right?  Erm…no…  You’re waving Stanley Kurtz’ claptrap years after it was debunked you moron.  Here…let some fellow republicans slap some wake up upside your head…

Gay and Lesbian Families: Examining the International Picture

Some on the far right claim that the experiences with same-sex marriage in the international community prove that same-sex marriage destroys the institution of marriage.  This claim, however, is unsupported by the facts.  Stanley Kurtz, of the Hoover Institution, insists, in an article for The Weekly Standard, that same-sex marriage has undermined the institution of marriage in Scandinavia.  (Scandinavia includes the countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.  Much debate on this issue also has included the Netherlands.)  An examination of the facts severely undermines Kurtz’s assertion.  Professor M.V. Lee Badgett from the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently authored a study examining Kurtz’s conclusion.  Click here to read the entire study.  Among the report’s key findings:

  • "There is no evidence that giving partnership rights to same-sex couples had any impact on heterosexual marriage in Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands. Marriage rates, divorce rates, and non-marital birth rates have been changing in Scandinavia, Europe and the United States for the past thirty years.  But those changes have occurred in all countries, regardless of whether or not they adopted same-sex partnership laws, and these trends were underway well before the passage of laws that gave same-sex couples rights."
  • "Divorce rates (in Scandinavia) have not risen since the passage of partnership laws and marriage rates have remained stable or actually increased."
  • "Non-marital birth rates have not risen faster in Scandinavia or the Netherlands since the passage of partnership laws.  Although there has been a long-term trend toward the separation of sex, reproduction, and marriage in the industrialized west, this trend is unrelated to the legal recognition of same-sex couples."
  • "Non-marital birth rates changed just as much in countries without partnership laws as in countries that legally recognize same-sex couples’ partnerships."
  • "The legal and cultural context in the United States gives many more incentives for heterosexual couples to marry than in Europe and those incentives will still exist even if same-sex couples can marry.  Giving same-sex couples marriage or marriage-like rights has not undermined heterosexual marriage in Europe, and it is not likely to do so in the United States."

Note that last bullet point because your answer’s right there idiot.  In most other western nations, single parents don’t suffer economic hardship like they do here in the Save Our Children USA.  And in point of fact, the usual pattern in Scandinavia is to marry After the first child is born

The main evidence Kurtz points to is the increase in cohabitation rates among unmarried heterosexual couples and the increase in births to unmarried mothers. Roughly half of all children in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are now born to unmarried parents. In Denmark, the number of cohabiting couples with children rose by 25 percent in the 1990s. From these statistics Kurtz concludes that " … married parenthood has become a minority phenomenon," and—surprise—he blames gay marriage.

But Kurtz’s interpretation of the statistics is incorrect. Parenthood within marriage is still the norm—most cohabitating couples marry after they start having children. In Sweden, for instance, 70 percent of cohabiters wed after their first child is born. Indeed, in Scandinavia the majority of families with children are headed by married parents. In Denmark and Norway, roughly four out of five couples with children were married in 2003. In the Netherlands, a bit south of Scandinavia, 90 percent of heterosexual couples with kids are married.

Emphasis mine.   And you can be sure Kurtz knew that when he published his dire warnings about the effect of same-sex marriage in Scandinavia.  After all…he had to have poured over the data in his search for evidence damning gay people.  He’d have looked at the entire marriage rate data, never doubt it, and he had to have seen that part.  He withheld it because it effectively took away his ammunition.

Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin goes a step further, noting the Decline in the rate of out of wedlock births in Scandinavia…

But more specifically with respect to civil unions, look at what the data tells us:

  1. Before 1993, the percentage of births outside of marriage grew steadily by an average of about 9% per year.
  2. After civil unions were enacted in 1993, the growth of that birth rate slowed dramatically. The the growth rate fell from 9% per year to an average of less than 1.5% per year between 1993 and 2006.

Which means that if there were a cause and effect between Norway’s birth rate outside of marriage and providing civil unions for same-sex couples, the data suggests that civil unions actually had a dramatic affect in slowing the rate of births outside of marriage.

The chart Burroway provides shows the rate climbing since the mid-70s, and then suddenly tapering off after civil unions were enacted.  Of course, coincidence is not causality, and the plain fact is that civil unions were probably of utterly no consequence in any sense.  Since when did heterosexuals decide how to live their intimate lives based on what homosexuals do with theirs?  Is this rocket science? 

What happened to change how heterosexuals lived their lives in the 1970s wasn’t gay liberation, but women’s.  The pill happened.  Women became more independent of men.  They could have their own lives.  Marriage wasn’t a foregone conclusion for them, the home not the only life they were allowed to have anymore.  Given all that, of course the patterns of marriage would change.  Opposite sex couples still marry…they just go down a different road to it now…both of them, together, as equals.

And make no mistake…that’s what Santorum and his kind want to change.  This isn’t about same-sex marriage.  It’s about the prerogative of powerful males.  It’s about taking us all back to a day when certain males of a certain class had power and status simply by virtue of their being males of a certain class, and the rest of us, women, minorities, laborers, heathens, knew our place and our lives only had context in service to them.  It was once their world, and the rest of us just lived in it.  That’s why they fight.  Because in this world of ever expanding knowledge, freedom and justice, they are the biggest losers.  Where status doesn’t count, you actually have to be something, and all they know how to be, is 18th century privileged males.

Actually Rick, the voters of Pennsylvania gave you a wake-up call when they booted your ass out of office last election.  And you’re still walking though life half-asleep, half comatose, aren’t you?

  
 

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