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The state of marriage in the world today

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  • The state of marriage in the world today

    The Boston Globe
    10 March 2004

    Death of marriage in Scandinavia
    By Stanley Kurtz

    In the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's dueling opinions on same-sex marriage, each side places the burden of proof on the other. The majority in the Goodridge decision insists there is "no rational reason" for defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The minority chides the majority for its "blind faith" that there are no potential dangers to so radical a change. Both sides lack evidence on the real-world effects of same-sex marriage. Yet evidence is in. Marriage is dying in Scandinavia, which has had marriage-like same-sex registered partnerships for over a decade.

    Data from European demographers and statistical bureaus show that a majority of children in Sweden and Norway are now born out of wedlock, as are 60 percent of first-born children in Denmark. In socially liberal districts of Norway, where the idea of same-sex registered partnerships is widely accepted, marriage itself has almost entirely disappeared.

    Certainly Scandinavia's system of registered partnerships is not the only cause of marital decline. Factors like contraception, abortion, women in the work force, individualism, secularism, and the welfare state are also at work. These factors are weakening marriage throughout the West. Yet scholars note that many family changes that eventually sweep the West show up first in Scandinavia, probably because of Scandinavia's unusually large welfare state and its notably strong secularism.

    Same-sex registered partnerships are Scandinavia's latest contribution to Western family change -- a sharp cultural separation between the ideas of marriage and parenthood. Even before the establishment of registered partnerships, many Scandinavians were starting to have their first child
    outside of marriage. Although the couple's relationship was still considered experimental through the birth of the first child, most parents did marry before the birth of the second child.

    The problem with this system is that unmarried parents break up at two to three times the rate of married parents. So as Scandinavians separated the ideas of marriage and parenthood, family dissolution rates rose -- placing first-born children at particular risk. The growing Scandinavian separation
    of marriage and parenthood made it difficult to deny marriage to same-sex couples. Yet the creation of registered partnerships has only locked in and reinforced the separation between the ideas of marriage and parenthood, thereby accelerating marital decline.

    Same-sex registered partnerships have contributed to candinavian marital decline in several ways. The controversy over registered partnerships created a divide in Norway's Lutheran Church. The most striking example can be found in Norway's socially liberal Nordland County, where churches fly rainbow flags. The flags signal that clergy in same-sex registered partnerships are welcome and that clergy who would preach against homosexual behavior are banned. Yet only these conservative clergy still preach against unmarried parenthood. So the effective purge of conservative clergy from Nordland County (where marriage is now rare) has removed a vital cultural barrier against the practice of parental cohabitation.

    For secular Scandinavians as well, same-sex registered partnerships have reinforced the view that marriage is unrelated to parenthood. When Sweden gave registered partners adoption rights in 2003, supporters of the change identified the acceptance of gay adoption with acceptance of single parenthood.

    Socially conservative districts of Norway had relatively low out-of-wedlock birthrates in the early '90s, when registered partnerships were established. Since then, conservative districts have seen a substantial rise in the out-of-wedlock birthrates, for both firstborn and subsequent children. Even before the establishment of registered partnerships, most parents in socially liberal districts, like Norway's Nordland County, had their first child out of wedlock. Today, not only 80 percent of first-born children in Nordland but nearly 60 percent of subsequent children are born out of wedlock. Clearly, in a place where de facto gay marriage has gained almost complete acceptance, marriage itself has almost completely disappeared.

    With increases in the rate of middle-class parental ohabitation, Americans have already seen signs of the Scandinavian family pattern. In its 2000 report "Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution," the influential American Law Institute has proposed legal reforms that would equalize marriage and cohabitation, Scandinavian style. By getting Americans used to
    a strong separation between marriage and parenthood, gay marriage would draw out these trends and put us firmly on the path to the Scandinavian system. And unlike Scandinavia, America has an underclass, whose families would suffer greatly from a further separation between marriage and parenthood.

    The core issue before the constitutional convention is the fate of the institution of marriage. Few of us want to return to the 1950s in the matter of homosexuality. Yet many of us also worry about the effects on the institution of marriage of so profound a change. The Scandinavian example shows that there are valid -- and secular -- reasons to believe that same-sex marriage will undercut marriage itself. As the minority warned, the Supreme Judicial Court has acted without considering the evidence. Yet
    it is not too late for the people to rectify the court's mistake
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  • #2
    when listening to npr recently

    i heard that the gays think the world should accept their marriages, in light of the decline of heterosexual marriages

    so much for common sense
    .لا نريد زعيما يخاف البيت الإبيض
    نريد زعيما يخاف الواحد الأحد
    دولة الإسلامية باقية





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    • #3
      i do not support gay marraige.Expecially here in the US. I don't think that 2 gay men should get the same tax benefits or stature of me and my husband. I can procreate and my job is to start a family.........they can not so why do they deserve the same benefits especially in the form on money??

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      • #4
        when you take the the man - woman union away from family life and childrearing , you end up with no foundation for a society upon which to build - other than SELF and whatever SELF demands. Its ugly. And its not sustainable. The gay rights movement is destroying everything. The boyscouts, churches, schools, now marriage. Where will it end?
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        • #5
          You people should protect your socities from the sodomites, do you know what the next step is after you give them marriag?

          They want Kids! to bring up like a normal family - except there will be nothing "normal" about it. The children (probably adopted) will grow up to be so confused they will wish they were never born.

          May God protect us from the diseases of society!
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          • #6
            zaman, too late

            they can already adopt, and if a gay woman divorces her husband, her and her other lesbo can adopt the child and there are even cases that if the ex-gay-wife dies, the father doesnt get the child, but the new adopted-gay-partner gets the child

            and to think, bush and dumsfeld want to export these "freedoms" to the muslim world
            .لا نريد زعيما يخاف البيت الإبيض
            نريد زعيما يخاف الواحد الأحد
            دولة الإسلامية باقية





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            • #7
              i personally know some lesbos who had kids - and then divorced - and now each are with new people again and the kids get shared amongst them all. Ugly - totally ugly.
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              • #8
                In the 70's I met a family where the dad raised 3 kids with the mom for about 10 years when he realized that he was not a heterosexual.

                They divorced and shared custody.

                They even moved into the same 3-flat to be closer together.

                The mom never remarried, but the dad has lived with a man for the last 32 years.

                They all seemed happy and healthy to me.

                They are good people.

                btw, it's not homosexuality that worries me, it is the further erosion of the family by our continuing to knock down institutions like marriage. There is a reason that man and woman have historically made committments to each other, it held society together and created an enviroment to nuture the next generation.

                The family I know was much more devaststed by the parent's divorce than their father's coming out.

                They overcame the divorce.

                Too many families and children do not.
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                • #9
                  I sort of agree BUT.........isnt it the homosexual lobby that is knocking down the instituion of marriage by demanding that they be allowed to marry as well? It seems to me like they are. There are other things eroding marriage and families too - like secularism, humanism, relativism and SELFISHNESS . I dont know. I dont want to discriminate agaisnt gays and I dont. But I dont like the fact that they are demanding to be a part of something that is reserved for men and women. For family building and for child rearing. To me it makes a mockery out of the whole concept by divorcing it from the man - woman coupling.


                  Originally posted by mariam
                  In the 70's I met a family where the dad raised 3 kids with the mom for about 10 years when he realized that he was not a heterosexual.

                  They divorced and shared custody.

                  They even moved into the same 3-flat to be closer together.

                  The mom never remarried, but the dad has lived with a man for the last 32 years.

                  They all seemed happy and healthy to me.

                  They are good people.

                  btw, it's not homosexuality that worries me, it is the further erosion of the family by our continuing to knock down institutions like marriage. There is a reason that man and woman have historically made committments to each other, it held society together and created an enviroment to nuture the next generation.

                  The family I know was much more devaststed by the parent's divorce than their father's coming out.

                  They overcame the divorce.

                  Too many families and children do not.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Indigo
                    I sort of agree BUT.........isnt it the homosexual lobby that is knocking down the instituion of marriage by demanding that they be allowed to marry as well? It seems to me like they are. There are other things eroding marriage and families too - like secularism, humanism, relativism and SELFISHNESS . I dont know. I dont want to discriminate agaisnt gays and I dont. But I dont like the fact that they are demanding to be a part of something that is reserved for men and women. For family building and for child rearing. To me it makes a mockery out of the whole concept by divorcing it from the man - woman coupling.
                    I agree.

                    I believe marriage should be available to men and women only.

                    Civil issues such as benefits and inheritance can be affored to all citizens (gay or not) legally without encroaching on traditional marriage.

                    I think it will take a federal law to put a stop to these states attempting to erode marriage.

                    Maybe after the election?
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                    • #11
                      it seems the Christians in America are only good for campaigning to "nuke the middle-east" when it comes to society they havent got a clue, they really have lost the plot.

                      Religion or no religion how the West try and impose these sick values on our people? what is in their minds? are they so oblivious to the fact that Gays are a disease to society and a enemy of the basic Family structure?

                      seriously what are they thinking? (Western leaders - especially those who want to export this culture) or do they just not give a F ? (sorry but it has to be said)
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                      • #12
                        mariam, do you know the punishment of an openly, practicing gay man in an islamic society?

                        the least of their problems would be health insurance

                        but if the moderates have their way, i will have to watch my back when i make ruku
                        .لا نريد زعيما يخاف البيت الإبيض
                        نريد زعيما يخاف الواحد الأحد
                        دولة الإسلامية باقية





                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AbuMubarak
                          but if the moderates have their way, i will have to watch my back when i make ruku
                          Lol.......I think we all have to start watching our backs.

                          I think we need to remind ourselves about the life story of Lut alaihisalam.

                          May Allah protect us from all the battymen. Especially those in the US army.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AbuMubarak
                            mariam, do you know the punishment of an openly, practicing gay man in an islamic society?

                            the least of their problems would be health insurance

                            but if the moderates have their way, i will have to watch my back when i make ruku
                            omg lol

                            cant belive u said that :P but v.true
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                            • #15
                              first of all the Christians are the ones out there protesting.....and Bush is the one who proposed a constitutional ammendment that would permanantly ban gay marriages.....and I'd support that completely

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