Return to Common Sense
February 21, 2014
Section: Culture – Family
“Traditional marriage as the central building block prevents behavioral problems in boys and psychological problems in girls, but single-parent families are concentrated among blacks and the less educated while hardly occurring at all among women with a college degree.”
“My criticism is that the gay movement isn’t just asking for civil rights; it’s asking for recognition and acceptance of an alternative lifestyle which I do not believe society can condone, nor can I.” Ronald Reagan
Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):
Marriage is the cornerstone of the family, the ideal union of one man and one woman and the ideal environment for childbearing and childrearing.
- The “traditionalist” view is the legal recognition of marriage that restricts the unions to a man and a woman.
o The norms of marriage apply to maximal experiential union where a couple’s relationship is permanent, each party will share more of his or her life with the other than if they separate, and the expectation of permanence will give rise to a quality of no-holding-back.
o The traditionalist assumes a couple is a “reproductive unit” intrinsically valuable whether or not a couple reproduce.
o Coitus achieves bodily union since the kind of act that is reproductively oriented that the relationships of infertile couples, but not those of same-sex couples, are potentially marital.
o The “revisionist” understands marriage as only a “maximal experiential union” composed of two persons’ sharing each other’s lives.
- The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996.
o Marriage is designed to nurture procreation and child rearing.
o The purpose of the law was to keep states that allow gay marriage from forcing these marriages on other states, under the Full Faith & Credit clause of the US Constitution.
o 42 states have laws that preserve the traditional definition of marriage, either by state constitutional amendment and/or by statute.
o Thirty-seven states have their own Defense of Marriage Acts, while 32 states have constitutional amendments protecting traditional marriage.
§ The bill also includes a definition of “marriage”: the word `marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
o In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional as federalism over-reach.
- Marriage is deeply rooted in all societies.
o While the ceremony for religious and secular marriages differs, the meaning has always been similar.
o Marriage protects and promotes the wellbeing of children.
- Civil Rights Act of 1963 has undermined the black family.
o By 2005 out of wedlock birth rates among blacks increased from 23.6% to nearly 70%.
§ By 2005 out of wedlock birth rates among whites increased from 3.1% to 25.3%.
o Family breakdown then compounded the problem by condemning children to poverty.
- Partners who cohabit with intention of marrying share many characteristics of married people.
o Partners who cohabit without the intention of marrying often have short relationships with few benefits.
o Men and women who cohabit are more likely to experience partner abuse and infidelity.
o Parenting role of cohabiting partner is vaguely defined, making unstable living arrangement for children.
o 50% of children born to cohabiting parents saw their parents part by age 5, compared with only 15% of children born to married parents.
- In marriages partners often specialize their skills, enabling accomplishing more as a team.
o Research shows mothers and fathers spend equal time on work endeavors, including paid and unpaid.
Family is the basic building block of society.
- Rome’s great orator and statesman, Cicero, declared marriage was the “first bond of society”
o Marriage has been both the cornerstone and keystone of civilized societies, while sexual promiscuity has been a corrosive, destructive force weakening a civilization.
o “Cultures that were more sexually permissive displayed less cultural energy, creativity, intellectual development and individualism, and a slower general cultural ascent.”
- The family type we have in the U.S. is technically called the Absolute Nuclear Family:
o Adult children choose their own spouses, without arranged marriages;
o Adult children leave their parents home to form a new, independent family in a new home;
o The parents do not have a duty to leave their property to any child, and they may sell it during their lives or leave it by will to anyone they choose;
o Children have no duty to provide for their parents; and
o Extended families are weak and have no control over personal decisions.
- Married families have higher incomes.
o In 2000 government spent more than $150 billion subsidizing single parent families.
o While marriage may not be a cure for poverty, it does turn out to be a fairly reliable preventative.
- Married people are more than twice as likely to be happy as divorced or never married individuals.
o 71% of Americans say growth in births of unwed mothers is a “big problem.”
o 69% of Americans think a child needs a home with both a father and a mother.
o 66% of Americans say a single woman with children is a trend that is bad for society.
o The above three findings are the same regardless of age, race, and education.
- American birth rate is 2.11 births per woman, right at the replacement level;
- Children in intact families are less likely to be depressed, difficulty in school, behavior problems.
o Children from homes with fathers are nine times more likely to graduate.
o 71% of dropouts come from fatherless homes.
o 92% of children whose families make more than $75k live with two parents.
o Only 20% of children whose families make less than $15k live with two parents.
- In 2007 40% of all American children are born outside marriage.
o Only 7% of children of mothers with college degrees are born out of wedlock.
o The out-of-wedlock birth rate among women who drop out of high school is 15%.
o The out-of-wedlock birth rate among African-American women is 67%.
o Boys who are raised by single mothers are twice as likely to end up in prison by age 32.
o Girls who are born outside of marriage are three times as likely to have a teenage pregnancy.
o Teens born outside of marriage are about twice as likely to drop out of high school.
- Aid to Families with Dependent Children required father leave to qualify to receive taxpayer benefits.
Child marriage is defined as marriage carried out below the age of 18.
- Arranged marriages can be made for toddlers and babies.
- In the developing world child marriage can occur shortly after puberty.
- Girls living in poor households are approximately twice as likely to marry before 18.
US divorce rate more than doubled between 1960 and 2000.
- In 2006 48% of all first marriages end in divorce.
o Wives precipitate two-thirds to three quarters of all divorces and separations.
o Divorce rate dropped to 16.5% (first married 1990-1994) among college graduates.
o Divorce rate has risen to 38% (first married 1990-1994) among high school graduates.
o Divorce rate has risen to 50% among high school dropouts.
o Many mothers avoid divorce by never marrying in the first place.
o Unwed childbearing rates (7%) and divorce rates (10%) for female college graduates are low.
- Female raises 80% of all household arguments.
- Collapse of marriage is the principal cause of child poverty in the U.S.
- Widespread divorce poisons the larger culture of marriage (distrust, insecurity, low commitment).
Erosion of the family unit is a global problem.
- According to Eurostat, the probability of marriage before age 50 has been plummeting, while the chance of divorce for those who do marry has been soaring.
- Japanese women born in 1990 stands less than even odds of getting married and staying married to age 50.
- From South Korea to Singapore, China is rimmed by countries where marriage is being postponed, or increasingly forgone; where networks of extended kin are withering ue to extreme sub-replacement fertility; and where childlessness is on the rise.
- In Muslim majority societies, a flight from marriage within the Arab world is in process, led by masses who wish to bend or break the rules of family life to which their mothers had submitted.
The government has no role in regulating and institutionalizing sexual activity.
- The government role is restricted to exceptions of consanguinity (close blood relations), use of force and victimization, commercial trafficking of sexual favors, and exploitation of minors.
- Those who choose to cohabit in non-traditional relationships have ample options for formalizing their arrangements through the private contract process, which government enforces but does not sanction.
- Marriage licenses exist as government recognition of the unique procreative potential of heterosexual relationships.
o A failure of the procreators to act as proper guardians forces the government to build safety-net systems for children whose parents either cannot or will not provide for them.
o Marriage provides a structure for assigning responsibility for children potentially produced by heterosexual relations.
o It fixes responsibility for paternity on the husband, regardless of who may have fathered the children during a marriage.
Statistics of the fatherless family tell a depressing story:
- Children in single parent households are more likely to be poor:
o In 2002, 7.8% of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4% of children in mother-only household families.
o During the year before their babies were born, 43% of unmarried mothers received welfare or food stamps, 21% received some type of housing subsidy, and 9% received another type of government transfer (unemployment insurance etc.).
o For women who have another child, the proportion who receives welfare or food stamps rises to 54%.
o A child with a nonresident father is 54% more likely to be poor than his or her father.
- Compared to peers living with both parents, kids in single parent homes had:
o a 77% greater risk of being physically abused.
o an 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect.
o a 165% greater risk of experiencing notable physical neglect.
o a 74% greater risk of suffering from emotional neglect.
o an 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury as a result of abuse.
o overall, a 120% greater risk of being endangered by some type of child.
- Crime, substance abuse, and self-harm are more prevalent:
o 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes, 5 times the average.
o 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes; 32 times the average.
o 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes; 20 times the average;
o 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes; 14 times the average;
o 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes; 9 times the average;
o 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes; 10 times the average;
o 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes; 9 times the average;
o 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes; 20 times the average.
- Children in single parent households tend to have more behavior issues:
o Adolescents from single-parent families engage in greater and earlier sexual activity.
o Fatherless children are at much higher risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality.
o Most abused children come from fatherless homes; only 1/3 abused kids lived with both biological parents.
o 50% of child abuse cases are committed by single mothers.
o Fatherless children are at dramatically greater risk of suicide..
o Fatherless boys have much more trouble establishing appropriate sex roles and gender identity.
o 80% of youth psychiatric patients are from fatherless homes.
o Fatherless children are less cooperative and score lower on IQ tests.
o Fatherless kids exhibit significantly more conduct problems, and daughters have higher rates of anxiety or depression.
o “Father hunger” often afflicts boys age 1-2 whose fathers are suddenly and permanently absent. Sleep disturbances, nightmares/ night terrors frequently begin within one to three months after the father leaves home.
o Children of never-married mothers are more than twice as likely to have been treated for an emotional or behavioral problem.
o Fatherless children are more likely to have been expelled or suspended from school, to display emotional problems, and to engage in antisocial behavior.
o Researchers observed “greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households.”
o 80% of adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from broken homes.
o Violent school kids are 11 times more likely to live without their fathers and six times more likely to have unmarried parents.
o 43% of prison inmates are fatherless; 14% lived in households without either biological parent; and 14% spent some of their childhood in a foster home, agency or other juvenile institution.
o 72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers; 60% of America’s rapists grew up the same way.
o Only 13% of juvenile delinquents come from families in which the biological mother and father are married to each other. By contract, 33% have parents who are either divorced or separated and 44% have parents who were never married.
o Fatherless teenage boys are more likely to be incarcerated for delinquent offenses and also manifest worse conduct while incarcerated.
o 70% of juveniles in state reform institutions grew up fatherless.
o Fatherless males engage in twice as much criminal activity, which triples if their neighborhood has a high concentration of single-parent families.
Homosexuals have claimed a “right” not supported by our Constitution.
- Only six states and the District of Columbia currently (2012) issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
o State supreme courts judicially imposed same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa.
o In Vermont, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia, and New York, legislative action has authorized same-sex marriage.
- Gay activists do not construe their "rights" in terms of liberty, but in terms of radical and absolute equality.
- There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation.
- Gays insist that same-sex relationships are identical to, entirely analogous to and fungible with, traditional marriage.
- Homosexuals do recruit and half of the adult homosexuals were seduced inter perversion before age 14.
o For every homosexual pedophile offender about 150 boys are molested whereas about 20 girls are molested per heterosexual pedophile offender.
- Children of homosexual couples are seven times more likely to develop "non-heterosexual preferences" than other children.
- Life expectancy of gay men is 20 years less than heterosexual men.
- Opposition is demonized as “discrimination” and “hate.”
Homosexuality: nature or nurture is a hot topic of discussion.
- The question has immense political, social, and cultural repercussions.
- Homosexuality has existed through recorded time.
- While biology plays a role in sexual behavior, no “gay gene” has been found.
- Whatever natural-science data exists for inborn sexual orientations is preliminary and disputed.
- The totality of scholarly research on homosexuality indicates gayness is much more socio-cultural than biological.
A Canadian study acknowledged that gays and lesbians are at higher risk for a number of deadly diseases and disorders that reduce the life spans of gay and bisexual men by 20 years compared to the average man in Canada:
- The Department of Justice reports that homosexuals are more likely (15.4% of them) than heterosexual men (10.8%) to be physically attacked by a domestic partner.
o The DOJ found that 39% of cohabiting lesbians say they have been raped, attacked, or stalked by a lover, as opposed to 21.7% of heterosexuals who live with men.
o A lesbian is about twice as likely as a hetero woman to be stalked or slapped around by a live-in lover.
- Gays and lesbians commit suicide at a rate from twice to 13.9 times more often than the general population.
- Homosexual smoking rates are 1.3 to 3 times higher than the general population.
- Alcoholism rates among homosexuals are 1.4 to 7 times higher than the general population.
- Illegal drug use is 1.6 to 19 times higher among homosexuals than the general population.
- Rates of depression are 1.8 to 3 times higher among homosexuals than the general population.
There has been a backlash in Europe promoting traditional family definition and values.
- Strong pro-family governments have been elected in Latvia, Slovakia, and Poland.
- World Congress of Families has been convened in 1997, 1999, 2004, and 2006.
- The natural family has been promoted as the “Springtime of Europe and the World.”
- In 2004 Sweden found that male homosexual couples were 50% more likely, and female couples 167% more likely, to terminate their legal relationships than were heterosexual couples to divorce.
Experiments with same-sex marriage in other countries have had disastrous results.
- Netherlands legalized same sex marriage for 5 years and key factor in decline of Dutch marriage.
- Scandinavia has recently legalized same sex partnerships in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
o Scandinavians view parenthood as test to see if out to get married.
- Sweden has begun move to abolish marriage and replace with gender neutral partnerships that would recognize multiple partner unions.
The institution of marriage itself was not created, and thus can not be redefined, by government.
- Same-sex marriage has a goal to set aside marriage altogether as a repressive and patriarchichal anachronism.
- Since American people have rejected same-sex marriage, the strategy has switched to extending the Equal Rights Amendment to include marriage “rights”
Marriage is a specific form of kinship with specific obligations:
- Marriage is concerned above all with female sexuality, protecting the child bearing partner from rape, degradation, and concubinage.
- Marriage impose a set of rules that determines not only whom one may marry, but, more important, whom one may not marry.
- Marriage changes the nature of sexual relations between a man and a woman.
- Marriage defines the end of childhood, sets a boundary between generations within the same family and between families, and establishes the rules in any given society for crossing those boundaries.
Ten non-religious reasons to keep marriage traditional:
- To reproduce, nature favors heterosexuality, not homosexuality.
- Nature teaches us to build the family unit and honor gender differences.
- The essence of marriage is the: permanent and exclusive covenant and union of one male and one female who consummate their monogamous commitment by their unique sex act, which is capable (or potentially capable) of producing a child.
- Childless heterosexual married couples reinforce marriage, not redefine it.
- Traditional marriage is strong, as is.
- Some certainties should not be rejected or fundamentally transformed.
- History and democracy matter.
- Preserving traditional marriage is a virtue, not "homophobia" or bigotry.
- Upholding standards against other redefinitions is necessary.
- Unmarried civil union is a fair and reasonable compromise.
Defend and strengthen traditional marriage and the family in federal and state law and policies.
- Embrace the conjugal view of marriage as a comprehensive union, based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary; on the biological fact that reproduction requires and man and a woman; and on the sociological reality that children benefit from having a mother and a father.
- Fund the “healthy marriage initiative” advertising campaign promoting the benefits of marriage.
- Ease economic and other burdens on families (remove entitlement program disincentives).
- Encourage healthy marriages through welfare reform and other social service programs.
Embrace the ‘Culture of Belonging” encouraging the combination of “work, wedlock, and worship.”
- Defer to parental rights regarding the education and welfare of minor children.
- Abolish anonymous sperm donation for biological and paternity reasons.
- Compile a Family Issues Scorecard to grade Congress on pro-family issues.
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“For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage” by Jason DeParle and Sabrina Tavernise dated February 17, 2012 published by The New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/us/for-women-under-30-most-births-occur-outside-marriage.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 .
“Defining Deviancy Down” by Star Parker dated March 12, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/starparker/2012/03/12/defining_deviancy_down .
“If Same Sex Marriage Is a Civil Rights Issue…” by Grant Dossetto dated May 13, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/05/if_same_sex_marriage_is_a_civil_rights_issue.html .
“What same-sex ‘marriage’ has done to Massachusetts” by Brian Camenker dated June 2012 published by Mass Resistance at http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/effects_of_ssm_2012/index.html
“Circumventing Citizens on Marriage: A Survey” by Dominique Ludvigson dated October 9, 2012 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/test/circumventing-citizens-on-marriage-a-survey .
“Fathers disappear from households across America” by Luke Rosiak dated December 25, 2012 published by Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/25/fathers-disappear-from-households-across-america/ .
“Ten Non-Religious Reasons to Keep Marriage Traditional” by James Arlandson dated January 13, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/ten_non-religious_reasons_to_keep_marriage_traditional.html .
“Is Fatherhood Being Killed so the State Can Play God?” by Kelly O’Connell dated February 3, 2013 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/52852 .
“The Biblical Norm for Marriage” by James Arlandson dated February 24, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/02/the_biblical_norm_for_marriage.html .
“Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It” by Ryan T. Anderson dated March 11, 2013 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/03/marriage-what-it-is-why-it-matters-and-the-consequences-of-redefining-it .
“LGBTs Can Thrive By Building Courageous Bridges” by Donna Underwood dated March 26, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/lgbts_can_thrive_by_building_courageous_bridges.html .
“Government should get out of the marriage business” by Edward Morrissey dated March 26, 2013 published by The Week at http://theweek.com/bullpen/column/241862/government-should-get-out-of-the-marriage-business# .
“The Deconstruction of Marriage” by Daniel Greenfield dated March 28, 2013 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/54107 .
“Family Meltdown” by Robert Samuelson dated April 15, 2013 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/04/15/family_meltdown_117945.html .
“The Social Costs of Abandoning the Meaning of Marriage” by Ryan T. Anderson dated September 9, 2013 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/09/the-social-costs-of-abandoning-the-meaning-of-marriage .
“How to Revive the American Family” by Michael Lotus dated October 7, 2013 published by Real Clear Religion at http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2013/10/07/how_to_revive_the_american_family.html .
“The Straight Dope on Homosexuality” by Elizabeth McCaw dated December 26, 2013 published by Taki’s Magazine at http://takimag.com/article/the_straight_dope_on_homosexuality_elizabeth_mccaw/page_2#axzz2p0sGuiEn .
“Nobody is ‘born that way,’ gay historians say” by David Benhof dated March 19, 2014 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/19/nobody-is-born-that-way-gay-historians-say/ .
“All the gay parentlng studies are flawed” by David Benkof dated March 25, 2014 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/25/all-the-gay-parenting-studies-are-flawed/ .
“Marriage: Where Do We Go From Here?” by Ryan T. Anderson dated May 22, 2014 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/378538/marriage-where-do-we-go-here-ryan-t-anderson .
“What an Intact Family Has to Do with the American Dream, in Six Charts” by W. Bradford Wilcox and Robert I. Lerman dated October 30, 2014 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/391448/what-intact-family-has-do-american-dream-six-charts-w-bradford-wilcox-robert-i-lerman .
“The Global Flight from the Family” by Nicholas Eberstadt dated February 21, 2015 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://www.wsj.com/articles/nicholas-eberstadt-the-global-flight-from-the-family-1424476179 .