aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, May 30, 2005
Gay marriage strengthens all marriage
Jonathan Rauch in The New Republic (subscription only, see extended entry for extended excerpts):
Advocates who say that gay marriage is just a matter of civil rights are wrong. It certainly is a civil rights issue, just as it is a moral issue; but it is not only a civil rights or moral issue. It is also a family policy issue--the most important family policy issue now facing the country. Gay marriage is not a civil right worth having if it will wreck straight marriage or leave millions of children bereft. But it won’t. In fact, gay marriage’s denial, not its recognition, poses the greater risk to American kids.
This is the argument that I want gay advocacy groups to make, and I think all Americans should understand:
Getting people to marry is hard. Just having sex is more fun. Just shacking up, as it was once called, is easier. Marriage is under threat, all right. The threat, however, comes not from gay couples who want to get married but from straight couples who either do not get married or do not stay married. A third of American children are born to unmarried parents. The divorce rate has doubled since 1960, and the marriage rate fell 40 percent from 1970 to 2000. Cohabitation rose 72 percent in the 1990s. Twenty-eight percent of young couples aged 18-29 are unmarried. “The future of marriage may depend,” as an analysis of that last figure by the Gallup Organization remarks, “on whether young people simply delay marriage or sidestep it altogether.” Society generally and children especially have an interest in encouraging these couples to get and stay married.
One way to do that is to signal, legally and culturally, that marriage is not just one of many interchangeable “lifestyles,” but the gold standard for committed relationships. For generations, both law and culture signaled that marriage is the ultimate commitment, uniquely binding and uniquely honored; that everyone could and should aspire to marry; and that marriage is especially important for couples with children. Same-sex marriage may be the first opportunity the country has had in decades to climb back up the slippery slope and say, quite dramatically, that marriage--not co-habitation, not partnership, not civil union, but marriage--is society’s first choice. An American gay couple in their eighties got married in Canada in 2003 after 58 years together. Asked why they bothered, one of them replied, “The maximum is getting married.” That is a good pro-marriage signal to send.
Emphasis mine. Rauch goes on to explain how banning gay marriage will weaken the institution of marriage.
“Creationism’s Trojan Horse”
Guest post by Jen.
The line between religion and science continues to fade.
Intelligent design advocates want to split open the public’s understanding of science and convince people that you can call on the supernatural for a scientific explanation
says Barbara Forrest, co-author of “Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design”.
The official scientific community is up in arms (well, maybe not the Smithsonian), and (according to the article),
many theologians are equally upset by intelligent design.
Education could be the solution. In a sidebar, the article notes that
Support for Darwin increases with level of education.
postgraduate education = 65% support, college graduate = 52% support, some college education = 32% support, high school or less = 20% support
But IDEA clubs, supporting the concept of Intelligent Design, are springing up all over college campuses in the U.S. and elsewhere (20 clubs, to date). Let’s hope our students are too apathetic to start one.