Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Sanctity Of Marriage

Amid all the rhetoric here in South Dakota over how Amendment C is aimed at protecting the sanctity of marriage, the New York Times has an interesting piece on what is slowly becoming the norm among American couples.

The American Community Survey, released this month by the Census Bureau, found that 49.7 percent, or 55.2 million, of the nation’s 111.1 million households in 2005 were made up of married couples — with and without children — just shy of a majority and down from more than 52 percent five years earlier.

Of course some of those non-traditional households (776,000) consist of same sex partners, the majority are opposite-sex couples (5.2 million). Even in the face of these figures, many on the far right would like you to believe that allowing gays to marry would cause the sanctity of marriage to somehow be diminished. But according to these numbers, even though few states currently allow gay marriage, the number of "traditional" couples deciding to get married is trending towards becoming the minority among American households.

Maybe instead of trying to blame gays for the declining popularity of marriage even though the vast majority are not even allowed to enter into that institution they should instead look into on the reasons why that for a growing number of heterosexuals, it just isn’t as important to them as the right-winger’s would like you to believe.

I would be willing to bet that if you asked couples that have chosen not to get married they would have a lot of different reasons and very few if any of those reasons would have anything to do with gays being allowed to marry. On the other hand if you ask those same couples if they believe they should be penalized for choosing not to enter into the historically religious institution of marriage, as Amendment C seeks to do, they would say no and I would have to agree...

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