Don't Blame Gay Marriage Unless You've Got ProofIn the Republican Presidential Debate last night, presidential hopeful (read: needs a miracle) Sam Brownback offered his take on gay marriage. As you can imagine, it wasn't a very favorable review. Thankfully he got booed by a good number of people in the audience. Unfortunately, he took the opportunity to twist the facts about gay marriage in front of the whole country.
I'm not thinking that enough people read this blog for me to be able to make a difference, but maybe someone out there will see it and start to realize how much anti-gay marriage folks have to manipulate the "evidence" to prove their points.
Here's what the Senator had to say:
“I understand this is a divided audience on this, and I understand we as a country are struggling with this question, but these issues aren’t done in a vacuum. I had a question earlier about family values, and I think this is important for us to rebuild the family structure. In countries that have redefined marriage, where they’ve said, okay, it’s not just a man and a woman, it can be two men, two women, the marriage rates in those countries have plummeted to where you have counties now in Northern Europe where 80 percent of the first-born children are born out of wedlock. We don’t need more children born out of wedlock; we need more children born into wedlock between a mom and a dad bonded together for life.
“When you do these vast social experiments — and that’s what this is, when you redefine marriage. It’s a vast social experiment. They’re not done in isolation. They impact the rest of the culture around you. When you take the sacredness out of marriage, you will drive the marriage rates down. And currently in this country, currently we’re at 36 percent of our children born out of wedlock. You can raise a good child in that setting, but we know the best place is between a mom and a dad bonded together for life. (Boos, cheers, applause.)”
Somehow Brownback jumped from gay marriage to children born out of wedlock in the blink of an eye, which is funny because I'm not sure how allowing people to get married has any correlation to kids then being born outside of marriage. Even funnier that he's addressing banning gay marriage, not trying to fix the real marriage and divorce problems that he's actually referring to (even if he doesn't admit it).
Some people may trust Brownback and think he really believes that allowing 5% or so of the population to marry does, in fact, cause divorce rates to sky rocket. I don't, unfortunately. I'm of the belief that he's so anti-gay (for whatever reason), that he'll use any statistics he can get his hands on to try to get the country to agree with him, even if they don't have any real correlation (much like his example above).
As for Brownback's claim that allowing gay marriage somehow causes straights to stop getting married en masse, Massachusetts currently has the lowest divorce rates in this country, even 2 years after allowing gay marriage.
Also, check out this page for a nice take down of his claims on gay marriage causing out-of-wedlock childbirths in Europe (including that the nonmarital birthrate in these countries was already increasing significantly before gay unions began and that the US divorce and cohabitation rates have risen dramatically since interracial marriage was made legal in the late 1960's, but somehow Brownback gives that a pass). It's a doozy of an article picking apart these absurd claims.
I'd think anyone being honest about this issue would have to see Brownback's argument holds no water. He seems to be so blinded by an attempt to get votes (or his own anti-gay stance), that he doesn't seem to care what the facts really are.