Straight People Responsible for Decline in Marriage

A new study by the Pew Research Center shows that four out of 10 Americans believed marriage is becoming obsolete. In 1978, just 28 percent felt that way.

Although the push by gay people for marriage equality goes against this trend, expect social conservatives to blame us for the decline in marriage.

The real reason marriage is on the ropes: about 29 percent of children under 18 currently live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, that’s five times more than the number from 1960.

Then there’s the class angle. In 1960, people with a college degree were only 4 percentage points more likely to be married than people with just a high school education or less. By 2008, that gap widened to 16 percentage points.

The rise of the welfare state has much to do with the decline of marriage and coherent families as support systems. On this as on other matters, limited-government conservatives and libertarians are correct, and social conservatives who scapegoat committed gay couples are wrong.

More. Maybe this will help bring marriage back into vogue.

4 Comments for “Straight People Responsible for Decline in Marriage”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    The push by gay people for marriage equality does not go against this trend.

    If marriage equality loses, gays and sympathetic straight people will move toward concluding legal marriage is irrelevant, as gays should then enter committed relationships outside the law of marriage.

    Also, if marriage equality wins, the definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman goes out the window. People who are unable to change their view on this will also view legal marriage as irrelevant and enter their committed relationships to be within their customs and traditions, but the law of marriage to be irrelevant.

    • posted by grendel on

      Are you saying “traditionalists” (for wont of a better word) will stop marrying in the legal sense if equality wins? If so is there any evidence for that position in any of the countries/states where equal marriage is already a reality?

      My sense is few traditionalists really separate marriage as a religious/social institution and marriage as a legal institution, so I don’t see traditionalists opting in droves for church weddings without the state paperwork. But hey, I could be wrong.

  2. posted by Jon on

    ” . . . expect social conservatives to blame us for the decline in marriage.”

    The report covers the national trend for period from 1960 through 2008. There was no gay marriage anywhere in the US until 2004, and it existed in only 1 state from 2004-2008. So while they can say anything they want, this report has nothing to do with the positive or negative impact of gay marriage.

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