Marriage equality opponents want a trophy

26 Mar 2013 03:49 pm
Posted by: Donna


As the Supreme Court hears arguments in the California Prop 8 case today, Center for Arizona Policy president Cathi Herrod lectures us moral degenerates with a My Turn column about the wonders of straight marriage, while dumping on single parents of all orientations.

That may sound a little overstated, but it is in the union of one man and one woman that you’ll find the ideal environment for personal independence, wealth creation and, most importantly, the nurturing of future generations, or in other words, our kids…

…The data back this up. According to a study from Princeton University, kids raised in an intact household with a married mother and father do better in school, are less likely to live in poverty, are less likely to depend on government assistance and are less likely to get in trouble with the law than children from any other environment.

As I’ve said before, marriage equality opponents distort data by conflating correlation with causation. It is just as likely (probably far more likely) that marriage follows educational attainment and financial stability, not the other way around. No one who pushes the argument that marriage creates prosperity out of a vacuum has ever explained how this magic works. I’ll grant that being legally bound to someone else through a marriage license may increase some people’s sense of responsibility but that doesn’t conjure up a job in a labor market where there are still three available workers to every job opening. And it really is despicable to suggest, as Herrod does, that single parents are deliberately harming their children by refusing simply to marry someone.

Herrod says “children from any other environment”, which is supposed to make you think that same sex partner headed households have been found to produce inferior outcomes for children. But if we’re looking at research on families in general, there aren’t enough same sex households raising children to be statistically significant. When same sex parents are compared with straight parents, however, research shows that children raised by gay couples fare at least as well (if not better) than those raised by straight couples. Even if that weren’t the case, Herrod offers not one shred of evidence that gay people being able to marry threatens those idyllic man-woman marriages she prefers in any way. She hides behind “the children” but you don’t see her calling for banning divorce or single parenthood (at least not yet).

What I did love about Herrod’s column was this little bitterness-tinged tidbit:

This isn’t a blockbuster story, nor something that would get a lot of ratings on prime-time TV. But the truth is, more than any great battle, historical document or pivotal court decision, stories like theirs have sustained and strengthened our nation through the generations.

She’s referring to a couple she knows, “Joe and Sara”, who have apparently lived exemplary lives being straight-married and raising two children and then becoming proud grandparents. Which is great for them. I’m glad following the conventional Father Knows Best life script suited them and worked out well. No skin off my nose. But I guess it skins Cathi Herrod’s nose that Godly and clean living people like them aren’t getting the kind of attention and adulation she believes that debauched deviants all over TV today are getting. I often get the sense from social conservatives that if they can’t force us all to live the way they want us to then, by god, we could at least be gracious enough to applaud them for following the rules so well! Herrod wants credit for America’s success to go to a type of family structure that was only really prevalent for a couple of decades in the mid-20th century. And it’s bad enough that many straight people aren’t inclined to go back to that nuclear family model but now here are gay people wanting legal recognition for their families too! It’s like we’re trying to take Cathi’s trophy away from her. Of all the rationales for taking rights away from people, none of which are good, the need to lord something over other people is perhaps the most pathetic.


  1. Comment by Mike Slater on March 26, 2013 4:10 pm

    Donna, are you married?

  2. Comment by Suzanne on March 27, 2013 6:37 am

    Give Cathy the trophy, she deserves it.
    I will call it the insulting presumptuous idiot trophy.

  3. Comment by Timmys Cat on March 28, 2013 6:26 pm

    Sooooooo, Cathi St Herrod is worried about children being raised by gay couples?

    How”s about the children of traditional marriages involved in divorces?

    There are about 1,250,000 divorces per year in the United States.

    Every year, over 1 million children under age 18 are involved in a divorce.

    A significant number of the young adults in the follow-up study appeared burdened by vivid memories of the marital break-up, by feelings of sadness, continuing resentment at parents, and a sense of deprivation.

    This of course means Herrod is also launching an all out blitz to protect children by doing anything and everything to help couples avoid getting a divorce.

    To protect the children after all, not to discrimate of course.

    All for the children.


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