Does gay marriage weaken the heterosexual family? In a March piece at Cato I pointed out that fears along these lines seem to rest on no discernible empirical basis. Here’s how the piece begins:
A letter writer in my Maryland hometown newspaper, the Frederick News-Post, advanced an unusual claim the other day: “Statistically, natural marriage is weakest and illegitimacy most prevalent wherever same-sex marriage is legal.” I wrote a letter to the editor, published today, pointing out that
the reverse is true. Per cdc.gov, the states with the nation’s lowest divorce rates are Massachusetts (recognized same-sex marriage in 2004) and Iowa (in 2009).
Most states with same-sex marriage likewise have lower, not higher, rates of out-of-wedlock childbearing. States and countries in this category have some of the highest life expectancies, education levels and prosperity in the world. After Maryland has joined them, we will come to wonder what the fuss was about in permitting our law to accommodate the realities of modern life….
Read the whole thing here.