I’m pleased that the New York Assembly has passed the Marriage Equality Act that will allow same sex couples to get married. We can only hope that any legal challenges will be batted down quickly and that more states will follow.
My biggest problem with the people who object to same sex marriages is that they usually suggest that allowing same sex marriage will destroy the sanctity of marriage and the structure of the family, and yet plenty of people who call themselves Christians and/or conservatives are already breaking down marriage and family.
- Divorces are common.
- Men and women regularly engage in intimate relationships outside of marriage.
- Men and women often live together (“in sin” we used to call it).
- Children are born out of wedlock every day.
- Children are exposed to their parents’ intimate relationships with partners to whom they are not married.
While I don’t always know their religious affiliations or political views, I have often heard people say that they have not married a longtime partner because they don’t want the commitment of marriage, and yet they may have one or more children together. It certainly gives the impression that having a child requires no commitment at all.
Since 2007, the rate of marriage has declined each year. In fact, the number of marriages in the U.S. has declined quiet a bit over the past century. A new report found that divorce rates are dropping as well, suggesting that could be because people are waiting until they are older to get married.
According to U.S. government data, in 2008, 41% of children were born to an unwed mother. In 2009, 26% of children lived with a single parent, and 4% lived with grandparents or someone else. The organization Childhelp found a significant rise in child abuse from 1995 to 2007, and while I haven’t done a scientific study, it sure seems like I see a lot of news reports about children killed or seriously injured by the mother’s boyfriend. Violence perpetrated by juveniles is supposedly down from a peak in about 1994, but again, I feel like we’re seeing more and more cases of children committing violent crimes, including murder and armed robbery.
I’m drawing a line. I feel like child abuse and juvenile crime is directly related to many children’s lack of a stable home life with two parents. Even in homes with two parents, if both parents work full-time, they are unable to give the children the attention they need. Parents are overly indulgent and permissive, and again I’m drawing a line to say that because many people are waiting until their late 20s and 30s to get married and because they often have to undergo fertility treatments to have a child, they place that child on a pedestal and fail to rear them and train them as children need to be reared and taught.
As I have watched this decline in family values, ethics, morals, and parental responsibility decline over my lifetime (much closer to have a century than I would like), I find that I am (on this issue at least) much more conservative than many people who call themselves conservative, and I applaud and encourage same sex marriage, because at least those couples are ready to make a commitment to living a life dedicated to one another, unlike so many of the people who would try to keep them apart.
For those who wonder, My first and only husband and I did not have sexual relationships with anyone (even each other) before marriage, and to the best of my knowledge neither of us have had any extramarital affairs. We will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in 2012. We remain childless by choice.