Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Defend Marriage! Ban Fundamentalist Weddings!

Xoff is advising us that the right wing is trying to rename their latest attack on gay people. What most have called the “gay marriage amendment” is now being called the “defense of marriage amendment.” Julaine Appling, executive director of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, was the latest one pitching the new name.

It is true that marriage is in need of defending, but not from gay people. Appling is likely relying on her own personal and religious views to advocate for this descrimination. If her position was really based in verifiable fact then she would be “defending marriage” against the many other things that actually do damage it.

If Appling dared to look past her predjudice, she would find some very interesting data. In a Boston Globe report from 2004, there was a very good article about the state of marriage in America. It discussed which states had the most divorce and which states had the least. The studies cited in that article were done from a wide range of groups (including a Christian Fundamentalist one), but they all came to the same conclusion. The state of Massachusetts had the least amount of divorce in the nation! Yes, liberal Massachusetts where gay couples are allowed to marry freely. As a matter of fact, the top five were all from the “liberal” northeastern states. Yes even Vermont with it’s dreaded civil unions was in that elite group of pro-marriage states. Some of the worst states in the country for marriage are the southern Bible Belt states where Christian Fudamentalism dominates.

Given the above data, I would encourage Julaine to contine to “defend marriage.” I only recommend that she change targets. Apparently gay marriage and civil unions actually help the institution of marriage. It seems that marriage’s real enemies are no fault divorce, poverty, poor education and Christian Fundamentalism. Constitutional amendment anyone?

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