Several of my friends have asked me why I believe Same-Sex Marriage would be detrimental to marriage in general, and I'll try and more exhaustively detail my responses a bit later (when I have more time); but I just came across (thanks to The Corner) an example of a post-SSM region that exemplifies the direction I believe SSM will take us [emphasis in original]:
Same-sex marriage has locked in and reinforced an existing Scandinavian trend toward the separation of marriage and parenthood. The Nordic family pattern--including gay marriage--is spreading across Europe. And by looking closely at it we can answer the key empirical question underlying the gay marriage debate. Will same-sex marriage undermine the institution of marriage? It already has.Aside from any religious viewpoints, my opposition to the establishment of SSM has always been based in two areas: the issue of parenthood (addressed by the article), and the issue of top-down imposition of law (legislation handed down by a panel of unelected judges, rather than drafted and voted upon by the elected representatives of the people).
More precisely, it has further undermined the institution. The separation of marriage from parenthood was increasing; gay marriage has widened the separation. Out-of-wedlock birthrates were rising; gay marriage has added to the factors pushing those rates higher. Instead of encouraging a society-wide return to marriage, Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable.
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