From the thank you countercultural left department -
Forget Gay Marriage: What About The Decline Of Marriage?
Marriage Decline: The disintegration of the nuclear family — particularly in the African-American community — and the rise in fatherless homes have greater societal implications than gay marriage, yet few pay attention.
The debate over gay marriage has taken center stage with two cases, one involving California's Proposition 8 which bans it, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which bars federal agencies recognizing the validity of same-sex marriages in the states where they are legal, now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
We have argued that the civil purpose of marriage is not and never has been to reaffirm the love of two people for one another.
Nor is marriage primarily a business arrangement.
This country and healthy societies around the world and throughout history have given marriage between a man and a woman special legal protection because of the recognition that it is the one institution that ensures the society's stable future through the orderly procreation and upbringing of children.
In this context, we find the decline in marriage and the rise in illegitimacy, prime factors in crime, poverty and societal decay, being virtually ignored as the Supreme Court looks at the penumbras and emanations from the Constitution to decide whether Adam and Steve can legally tie the knot.
We should be more concerned about that than about gay rights and free contraceptives. As traditional marriage breaks down, so does society.
We have certainly come a long way from "The Cosby Show." In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote "The Negro Family: A Case for National Action."
At the time, 25% of black children were born out of wedlock, a number Moynihan called alarming. Today, 72% of black children are now born out of wedlock. In fact, 36% of white children are born out of wedlock. Of Hispanic children, 53% are born outside of marriage.
Illegitimacy is even glorified in our culture, as reflected in the now cancelled cable "reality" show "All My Babies' Mamas," dropped from Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen network after a public outcry. The show was to follow Shawty Lo, a rapper from Atlanta, who fathered 11 children by 10 different mothers.
The consequences of fatherlessness are staggering. In such homes there is no role model who gets up every morning, shaves and gets dressed and goes to work, coming home to have dinner with his family.
There is no male role model to restrain a young man's masculine impulses and guide him into adulthood.