same-sex marriage successful in Scandinavia

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Dale Carpenter writes at Volokh Conspiracy about the success of same-sex marriage in Scandinavia, as well as its (possible) positive effect on the institution as a whole. William Eskridge and Darren Spedale, co-authors of the book Gay Marriage: For Better or For Worse? What We've Learned From the Evidence, summarize their findings of Scandinavia's seventeen-year experience with same-sex marriage:

[T]here is no evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry weakens the institution. If anything, the numbers indicate the opposite. A decade after Denmark, Norway and Sweden passed their respective partnership laws, heterosexual marriage rates had risen 10.7% in Denmark; 12.7% in Norway; and a whopping 28.8% in Sweden. [...] On average, divorce rates among heterosexuals remain lower now than in the years before same-sex partnerships were legalized. In addition, out-of-wedlock birthrates in each of these countries contradict the suggestion by social conservatives that gay marriage will lead to great increases in out-of-wedlock births and therefore less family stability for children.


It would be difficult, and suspect, to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between these trends in heterosexual marriage and marriage rights for gays and lesbians. But the facts demonstrate that there is no proof that same-sex marriage will harm the institution of marriage, or children. [emphasis added]

Andrew Sullivan asks, while slyly referencing his long-held support for marriage equality, "Who would have thought that encouraging marriage for everyone would do all that?" The joy of being able to say "I told you so" is tempered slightly by the recognition that the opponents of marriage--such as Rick "man on dog" Santorum will likely never admit that they were wrong. Eskridge and Spedale conclude that problems with society can't be realistically blamed on same-sex marriage:

Rather than scapegoating gay couples as the attackers from which marriage needs "defending," pundits and politicians alike should look to no-fault divorce, prenuptial agreements and legal recognition of heterosexual cohabitation as the real culprits of weakened marriage. As the evidence indicates, societies where gay couples have the rights of marriage seem to be doing just fine.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on November 3, 2006 3:58 PM.

once again, the facts are biased against the GOP was the previous entry in this blog.

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