Critics of same-sex marriage were correct. Same-sex marriage is a threat to traditional marriage. However, it’s a threat to what traditional marriage has become and not what it once was.
The Climb of American Divorce Rates
Opponents of same-sex marriage claimed that having homosexuals marry would weaken the institution. However, marriage had grown weak well before same-sex marriages were legalized. In fact, the institution had been in decline for quite awhile. The evidence is found in decades of ever higher divorce rates.
America’s divorce rate began climbing in the late 1960s. The rate skyrocketed during the ’70s and early ’80s. The cause? Virtually every state adopted no-fault divorce laws and divorces were easier to get.
Divorce ended around 50 percent of first marriages and 65 percent of second marriages during the decade prior to same-sex marriage. Americans lived in a society where marriage and family were no longer permanent, unconditional arrangements. Traditional marriage had largely become until divorce do us part.
How Same-Sex Marriage Is A Threat
The tradition of high divorce rates in the last half-century is threatened by same-sex marriage. For example, Massachusetts was the first state to make it legal for same-sex couples to marry. Since then, the divorce rate in Massachusetts has gone down. It has the lowest divorce rate of any state. In fact, the Massachusetts divorce rate is about the same as the divorce rate was in the U.S. in 1940.
One reason for the lower divorce rate may be the quality of same-sex marriages. When people really choose to get married instead of doing it simply to conform, we can expect they will make better choices and stick with them.
Meanwhile, the ultra-conservative Bible belt states are conserving the American tradition of a high number of marriages ending in divorce. These states discouraged same-sex marriage and they have by far the highest divorce rates in the US.
Liberal Northeastern states had marriage equality first. And they have a lower divorce rate than conservative Bible-belt states. It’s obvious. Having homosexuals marry weakens the tradition, not of marriage, but of a marriage ending in divorce.