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August 21, 2009

As more states offer same-sex marriage, some opponents demur on the consequences

With same-sex marriage no longer a theoretical boogeyman but rather a reality in six states, Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune decided to check in with several high-profile conservatives to see how they think the experiment is going.

Opponents of same-sex marriage reject it on religious and moral grounds but also on practical ones. If we let homosexuals marry, they believe, a parade of horribles will follow -- the weakening of marriage as an institution, children at increased risk of broken homes, the eventual legalization of polygamy and who knows what all.

. . .

But with the experiment looming, some opponents seem to be doubting their own convictions. I contacted three serious conservative thinkers who have written extensively about the dangers of allowing gay marriage and asked them to make simple, concrete predictions about measurable social indicators -- marriage rates, divorce, out-of-wedlock births, child poverty, you name it.

You would think they would react like Albert Pujols when presented with a hanging curveball. Yet none was prepared to forecast what would happen in same-sex marriage states versus other states.

Professional anti-marriage activist Maggie Gallagher, who declined to speak with Chapman on the subject, instead chooses the more comfortable forum of the National Review Online to offer "five preliminary predictions about the short-term effects of SSM," for which she offers no data, empirical support, or further explanation.  Indeed, Gallagher appears to concede that such speculation is pointless, saying she "would welcome a serious project by serious people, across ideological lines, to try to design a serious study."

-SS

August 21, 2009 | Permalink

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