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Number of married households drop; where is the National Organization for Marriage?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It seems that America could use a genuine pro-family movement instead of hate groups using “family values” as a cover for their anti-gay activities.

According to the Census Bureau, as reported in The New York Times:

  • Married couples have dropped below half of all American households for the first time. Married couples represented just 48 percent of American households in 2010.
  • Just a fifth of households were traditional families – married couples with children – down from about a quarter a decade ago, and from 43 percent in 1950
  • 37 states, plus the District of Columbia, in which married couples make up fewer than 50 percent of all households, up from just 6 states in 2000
  • Rising income inequality has divided American society, making college-educated people less likely to marry those without college degrees. Members of that educated group have struck a new path: they marry later and stay married. In contrast, women with only a high school diploma are increasingly opting not to marry the fathers of their children, whose fortunes have declined along with the country’s economic opportunities.
  • 41 states showed declines in traditional households of married couples with children. In 2000, married couples with children were fewer than 20 percent of all households in just one state, plus the District of Columbia. Now they are fewer than a fifth in 31 states.

The statistics are quite telling and perverse. In the name of saving marriage socially conservative groups helped elevate anti-gay Republicans, which enacted policies that led to great income disparity — which depresses marriage rates. Nice going, fundies!

This is similar to the way social conservatives try to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, which leads to unplanned parenthood and higher abortion rates. Or, how they promote abstinence-only programs in schools, which also backfire. It seems that right wing social engineering consistently boomerangs.

I think these new statistics are a good opportunity for “pro-family” groups to look in the mirror and realize that their politics have failed. Focus on the Family, the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council have obsessed about gay families at the expense of traditional marriage. If they had bothered to pull their noses out of our bedrooms and averted their eyes from our keyholes, they might have noticed the problem.

James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Brian Brown, and Maggie Gallagher have no one to blame but themselves for the disintegration of marriage in America. They wasted (and continue to throw away) gobs of time and money harming LGBT people — and ignored the challenges faced by the majority of working families.

Given the statistics and their professed aim to support families — one can only conclude that the leadership of these groups has been misguided, blinded by anti-gay bigotry, addicted to the money from anti-gay direct mail campaigns, or simply incompetent.

It is time for Focus on the Family and other such groups to refocus. Working to destroy our families has done little to promote family life for the majority of Americans. If they are looking for something to do, consider this:

The nation’s overall education spending grew at a slower pace in 2009 than at any other time in more than a decade, amid deepening state fiscal woes and flatter tax revenues, according to new census figures released Wednesday.

Less education = Less marriages. Now, “pro-family” groups — stop gay bashing and get to work solving real problems.

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12 more reader comments:

  1. Bunch of hypocrites doing what they are against.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 9:21pm
  2. Thinking of a way to blame the LGBT community.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 9:22pm
  3. Is anyone surprised? The so called ‘religious right’ ignores all sorts of important social issues to wage a war on the GLBTI community.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 9:48pm

    Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 10:14pm
  5. All this says is marriage is not a working institution. Why are gay people pursuing it?

    Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 10:17pm
  6. I’m thinking putting everything on the line that is clearly distasteful and unattractive to those who already have access to it is kinda’ bassawkwards was the first thought that occurred to me when I read this story a few days ago…jus’ sayin’:)

    Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 10:19pm
  7. Thats because its getting harder to find decent people to even date, let alone marry! Or atleast thats how i am seeing it. But i feel everyone should have the right to do it!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 11:21pm
  8. Here’s the thing, marriage should be a right to all legitimate couples. Why should I, as a straight man, be granted a right that others are denied NOT because they are breaking the law but because of an accident of birth? it is ludicrous to create such a society as it reeks of the very class system we have rightly tried to overcome.

    That others make a mockery of marriage does not mean marriage itself is a bad thing, just that others far too often mistreat it and take its privileges for granted without thought to the responsibilities.

    What shocks me most, and only highlights the hypocrisy of the far right groups, is that the real threats to marriage are being ignored. Quickie marriages where people who barely know each other can get hitched. Forced marriages (different from arranged marriages). Marriages that can happen whilst someone is serving time in prison. Mail order brides. These notions cheapen marriage, as do those who hit their first speed bump on the road of marriage and rather than trying to deal with a problem go straight for divorce, and let’s not even mention infidelity.

    Fact is, gay couples don’t threaten marriage or its values, they certify them. They don’t demean marriage, they show why marriage is still a valid and vibrant part of our culture. So those organisations who campaign against gay people marrying are the ones who threaten marriage, as they are allowing their hatred and ill-educated “values” dictate marriage against some whilst allowing widespread abuse of it by others.

    Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 1:59am
  9. Hahaha.

    Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 3:39am
  10. @Derrick, even if it were true that marriage wasn’t a working institution, it should be the people’s choice to do so or not. For that to happen, then equality must stand.

    Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 3:21pm
  11. And about your saying that it is distasteful and unattractive to the people who already can get married needs source here, since there are still Millions of couples getting married every year.

    Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 3:24pm
  12. “Protect Marriage” my ass…they should be protecting marriage from THEMSELVES and leave the gays alone ffs

    Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 4:48pm