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Wrong Marriage Debate Again

Wrong Marriage Debate Again

By Mona Charen - June 28, 2011

If only lower income heterosexuals were as keen to marry as some homosexuals, the United States would be a much stronger country.

Supporters of gay marriage (most prominently The New York Times, which reported New York's legalization of such unions last week with about as much hoopla as it did the Japanese surrender in 1945) are ecstatic.

Actually, the first sentence of this column might be misleading. While it might seem, from the intense activism on the subject, that gays are impatient to reach the altar, it may not be true. Surveys in countries that have legalized gay marriage have found comparatively small numbers of homosexuals seeking marriage (between 2 and 5 percent in Belgium, and between 2 and 6 percent in Holland). It's quite possible that legalizing same-sex marriage is sought mostly for symbolic reasons -- as a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on homosexuality. (Just by the way, the funniest sign at a recent Obama speech was held by a gay-marriage advocate irritated by the president's claim that his views on the subject are "evolving." The sign read "Just Evolve Already.")

Imagine if even one-twentieth of the attention we devote to gay marriage were turned to the state of heterosexual marriage -- we might begin to see the true emergency.

Writing in The Weekly Standard, Mitch Pearlstein, whose book "From Family Collapse to America's Decline" is due out in August, outlines some of the connections between family breakdown and economic decay.

The statistics are familiar. In 1970, 85.2 percent of children under 18 lived in a two-parent family. In 2005, it was 68.3 percent and dropping. Forty percent of births in America are to unwed parents. Broken down by ethnic group, the figures are 30 percent among whites, 50 percent for Hispanics and 70 percent for blacks.

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Copyright 2011, Creators Syndicate Inc.

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