JIM CREES: Who is really to blame for what?
The recent Supreme Court discussions on the legality of some fine-points concerning same-sex marriage, or civil unions, got me interested in one aspect of the debate as it is under way in the public square.
Some people, and certainly some commentators of a specific political bent, seem to believe same-sex marriage is the one single factor that will bring down the institution of marriage and destroy the traditional family structure as we know it today.
“Marriage between one man and one woman is critical to maintaining social stability,” said Shari Rendall, director of legislation and policy for Concerned Women for America. “Society as a whole pays a high price when marriage is devalued. You see divorce; you see single-parenting; you see a rise in out-of-wedlock pregnancies.”
There is a lot of passion involved in the discussion.
Basically, some arguments offered suggest that if our nation allows or condones same-sex marriage — in any way, shape, or form — the traditional family and societal frameworks will be weakened and the Judeo-Christian morality we’ve been taught to respect will be voided.
Anti same-sex marriage warriors believe allowing gay couples to join in a legally recognized union will dismantle traditional marriage, and disassemble the family unit’s cohesion at it’s core.
Now, let’s consider this a moment.
This nation has about 309,000,000 citizens. Of those 309 million, there are some 1.2 million involved in declared same-sex relationships, (re: households.)
That’s just over 3 percent of the total population.
Census figures show there are approximately 2,077,000 marriages each year, (that is to say, ‘conventional’ marriages.)
For every two marriages in these United States, one will end in divorce. (Actually, the figure is 1.89 to 1.)
There were just under 2.5 million divorces in the U.S. last year. That’s a little over four times the number of gay couples living in committed relationships.
It is hard for me to believe that the breakdown of even a minuscule percentage of marriages in the United States is the result of some gay intervention.
In fact, gays in a committed same-sex relationship have a lower marital dissolution rate than do ‘straight’ couples. Let me repeat - only 1.1 percent of gay couples end their relationship each year as opposed to 2 percent of conventional couples.
It would appear, at least statistically, that gay couples are more secure in their commitment than are straight couples.
So, if gays are not at fault for destroying wedded bliss in this country, what is?
In a survey carried out last year for the CDC, it was revealed that the number of married men who admitted to cheating on their wives was a rollicking 57 percent of those surveyed. Fifty-four percent of married women also admitted to cheating on their relationship.
(It might be noted that the number of spouses who said they would have an extramarital affair if they knew they could never be caught was 74 percent for men, and 69 percent for women.)
Marital infidelity was the declared cause for one-third of all marriage break-downs, (when a reason was even listed.) Infidelity by men was the reason for 75 percent of those marriage breakdowns.
And for those who think this is all the fault of some liberal hedonism, a survey by the magazine Christianity Today a few years back revealed that 23 percent of 200 pastors questioned admitted to being involved in some sexual driven affair -— with someone other than their wives of course.
An extensive 2004 survey by the Barna group found that there was no difference in the divorce rates of born again Christians and the divorce rates in the general population. None. In that same study it was noted that those divorce rates were largely driven by extramarital affairs, (60 percent by men, 40 percent by women.)
An absolutely microscopic number of the divorces amongst straight married couples were caused by some extramarital affair with a person of the same sex. It simply doesn’t happen, or is virtually nonexistent.
So, it was NOT the gay population that led to the breakdown of these marriages and the breakup of the traditional home at a rate of some 48 percent by the time people reach the 20th year of marriage.
It ISN’T gay people who are causing the break-up of the institution of marriage and the shattering of the home and family to the tune of almost half of all American marriages.
IT’S THE HETEROSEXUALS!!
If you simply look at the facts and the figures, it’s the straight people who can’t control their zippers and are out fooling around and cheating on their spouses - and NOT with gays.
So rather than blame the gays for destroying the traditional family unit, we actually should be commending them for their fidelity within a committed relationship.
Fact is, gay couples seem more stable and committed than do straight couples — certainly statistically.
I’d suggest that anyone wanting to preserve the sanctity of marriage in this country should best be keeping an eye on their own husband or wife, and not being so critical of the same-sex couple down the street.
Gay individuals and couples just want the same rights as every other American — the same rights as ALL Americans.
And it has nothing to do with who is more conventional, or orthodox, or moral than whom.