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Michael and Jenet Erickson: How are same-sex and traditional marriage different?

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  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 11, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    " The Gay Couples Study out of San Francisco State University"

    The Gay Couples study did NOT study married couples -- it studied UNmarried ones. Therefore, obviously, comparing those couples to straight married couples is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

    If you want some meaningful statistics, then compare these couple to UNmarried straight ones.

    "same-sex couples, especially lesbian couples, are still significantly more likely to break up than traditional heterosexual ones....."

    Actually, legal gay partnerships actually appear to break up at roughly HALF the rate of straight partnerships, from the data we have so far.

    "In the states with available data, dissolution rates for same-sex couples ...ranges from 0% to 1.8% annually, or ***1.1% on average***, whereas 2% of married different-sex couples divorce annually."
    -- from "Patterns of Relationship Recognition by Same-Sex Couples in the United States", published in 2011 by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

    Again, we have to compare apples to apples. MARRIED straight couples to MARRIED gay couples.

    "including in Great Britain where after four years"

    Sorry, but the UK only recognized same-sex marriage THIS year -- not four years ago.

  • Longfellow Holladay, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    This article presents a lot of data and comparisons. In any article of this type, the writer should cite his/her sources. This enables others who want to inform themselves beyond the bounds of the article to do so more easily.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 11, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    If the goal is to learn and study until sufficient understanding has been obtained to draw accurate conclusions, then the article has given sufficient specfic data that a Google search will enable us to educate ourselves; however, if the goal is to defend a preconceived idea of a lifestyle, then no amount of data or study would ever change that preconceived idea.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Aug. 11, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    "How are same-sex and traditional marriage different?"

    Is this a trick question? OK, I'll bite. One is ordained by God and the other is a perversion of God's law.

  • OldDaveJersey Trenton, NJ
    Aug. 11, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    I'm not sure where the data in article came from, but as far as Britain goes, the British version of the US Census Bureau found that, after 5 years, the dissolution rate of same-gender civil unions was actually less than the divorce rate for straight couples. Very much at odds with what is claimed by this piece. (See ard-pt145-civil-partnerships.pdf on the www.ons.gov.uk website)

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 11, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    Legal gay marriage is such a recent development that collecting meaningful statistical data this soon would be like someone concluding that smoking isn't harmful because they smoked a cigarette yesterday and they didn't feel any negative effects. After a couple of generations of gay marriage with thousands of subjects, we might see some patterns. If the long term patterns turn out to be negative it's a risky and potentially tragic social experiment. Biologically, the human species is a heterosexual, pair-bonding species. That is the most ideal situation for human offspring and that is what should drive our decisions about marriage.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    The difference is quite clear,

    One is playing house and mocking traditional marriage while the other is doing it for real.

  • Rivkah Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 6:31 p.m.

    @Contrarius: I think you need to read the article more carefully. It doesn’t compare gay couples from the Gay Couples study with married couples. It simply says that half of the gay male couples in the study were in open relationships. And when it refers to the UK, it doesn’t imply that gay marriage has been legal for four years. It says that 37% of “gay cohabitors” remain together after four years, compared with 67% of opposite-sex cohabitating couples and 88% of opposite sex married couples.

    The Williams Institute study you cite compares legally recognized same-sex couples--those in civil unions as well as those who are married—with legally recognized straight couples. However, since same-sex relationships have only been recognized for a short period of time, most of the gay couples are in fairly new legal relationships. So—to use your own words—it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    I can tell you a similarity between gay marriage and straight marriage. A gay couple's marriage is absolutely no threat to my straight marriage. And my straight marriage is absolutely no threat to their gay marriage. Gay couples have been getting married for several years now while my wife and I have worked our jobs, run our household, and raised our kids absent any difference in our lives.

    Absent someone thinking "gee, their same-sex marriage offends my moral sensibilities", I can't imagine any other way in which same-sex marriage will affect heterosexuals.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 8:31 p.m.

    All research into the behavior of these "lifestyles" is just as arbitrary as the lifestyle itself. The behavior is defined by one principle and one alone: rejection of the truth, of who we are and the design of our anatomy, whether fully functional or not. True cannot be both true and false.

    This is essentially asking: "How does the truth and a lie differ?"

    With truth we can repent and accept change within ourselves allowing the atonement to heal our broken lives. Otherwise, one can only live a lie so long until it falls apart and breaks, and you're life will have broken with it.

    Repentance is met with a love that will never be found by living a lie.

    There are kind and loving individuals who are gay and no one need have any malice toward them. So by all means, this isn't some cruel attempt to ridicule those who live this lifestyle. It is simply an invitation to live the commandments we've been given and a statement of the happiness it will bring. It's worth it. It's hard, but there's help and with all commandments there is a way provided.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 11, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    I think that there is a yin and yang in a traditional marriage. The male and female elements complement one another in a unified whole. Make and female are a pair like land and ocean or earth and sky.

    It doesn't hurt that promoting a male-female marriage as being a special union promotes the idea that men should have responsibility for the procreative actions. I.e. if you are going to have sex, you need to make a life long commitment so that if and when children are borne they can be properly reared.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 11, 2013 10:38 p.m.

    I read this article with interest and pondered my feelings when my wife and I were married 40 years ago. I was awed that she would be willing to trust me enough to become my wife and the mother of my children. She was putting herself in a very vulnerable position because she trusted that I would be true to her forever. I vowed to show my appreciation every day from now on by assuming the full role of husband, protector, father, and loving companion. The potential for parenthood made both of us vulnerable, which gave depth to the trust required. Forty years later, we are still as much in love as we ever were. Our bodies show the wear of the years, but our hearts are still young. I don't see how that same combination of vulnerability and trust exist within same sex relationships.

  • Mr. Bean Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 12, 2013 1:09 a.m.

    @merich39:
    "A gay couple's marriage is absolutely no threat to my straight marriage."

    Homosexual marriages are a threat to the institution of marriage. Unless marriage is limited to one man and one women it will eventually evolve into all variations of marriage including polygamy, pedophilia, incestia, etc. Any combination that can be conjured up.

  • OldDaveJersey Trenton, NJ
    Aug. 12, 2013 6:17 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi -- In the US, civil marriage in not fundamentally tied to procreation. It exists, in the form of certain benefits and protections granted to couples, to promote the health and stability of families ... be they composed of just the couples themselves, the couples plus biological children, or the couples plus kids from adoption, previous relationships, surrogacy, etc. Those reasons apply just as strongly to families built around same-gender couples as to those built around straight couples. Also, your notion of yin and yang is rather narrow; the kinds of complementarity you speak of exists in same-gender relationships ... they just aren't tied in traditional ways to gender. That's part of what being homosexual means.

    gmlewis -- Your comment totally baffles me, and I suspect you just don't know many (any?) same-gender couples. Everything you said about your own marriage meshes with what I've seen in the same-gender couples I know personally. (You are aware that gay couples can and do raise children together ... aren't you? Or do you think that straight couples who don't have kids, or whose kids are adopted, can't have the same vulnerability and trust you have?)

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    @Rivkah --

    "It doesn’t compare gay couples from the Gay Couples study with married couples."

    Of course it does. Look at the title of the article.

    Heck, that SF study doesn't even represent average *single* gay couples. One obvious difference is that the HIV rate in their study group was more than **three times** higher than the US average.

    "And when it refers to the UK, it doesn’t imply that gay marriage has been legal for four years."

    Again -- of course it does. Look at the title of the article.

    @I know it.

    "The behavior is defined by one principle and one alone: rejection of the truth"

    You're way off base on this one.

    Homosexual behaviors are just as "natural" as any other. In fact, homosexual behaviors are very common in non-human species out in nature. That doesn't make them good or bad -- but it DOES make them natural.

    @Tekakaromatagi --

    "if you are going to have sex, you need to make a life long commitment so that if and when children are borne they can be properly reared."

    So work to encourage straight marriages. Gay marriages have absolutely nothing to do with fatherless children.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    @Mr. Bean -- I assume you are not LDS since you are comparing the marriages of the 19th century LDS church members to pedophilia.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    @OldDaveJersey:
    "In the US, civil marriage... exists, in the form of certain benefits and protections granted to couples, to promote the health and stability of families ..."

    Civil marriage existed way before any government 'benefits' were available. And marriage is not a requirement to promote health and stability. That phenomenon exists sans marriage being part of the normal human psyche.

    "...be they composed of just the couples themselves, the couples plus biological children, or the couples plus kids from adoption, previous relationships, surrogacy, etc."

    Where you getting 'couples' from? Polygamists have the same natural desires/obligations.

    "Those reasons apply just as strongly to families built around same-gender couples as to those built around straight couples."

    You're forgetting that same gender marriages don't have natural children since it takes a male and a female to do that.

    Same gender adoption of children is only necessary if/when we run out of opposite gender couples to adopt... which ain't gonna ever happen.

    "You are aware that gay couples can and do raise children together..."

    But they can't produce children as a couple.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    @Mr. Bean --

    "Unless marriage is limited to one man and one women it will eventually evolve into all variations..."

    Baloney, wrz.

    1. Roughly 15 countries already have gay marriage -- and NONE of them have legalized polygamy.

    2. Canada recently reaffirmed their polygamy ban -- even though they've had gay marriage for 10 years.

    3. Multiple court decisions in the US have reaffirmed the distinction between gay rights and both polygamy and incest.

    It's also very useful to note that the countries which do have polygamy are generally **opposed** to both gay rights and equal rights for women. In fact, concepts of civil rights are pretty much antithetical to the practice of polygamy. So if you oppose polygamy, you should actually SUPPORT civil rights for all. ;-)

  • OldDaveJersey Trenton, NJ
    Aug. 12, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    @Miss Piggie -- We are talking about civil marriage as it exists in the US. If there were no benefits, rights, and protections involved in civil marriage, there would be no issue to begin with here. And if those benefits, etc. aren't given to promote family stability, what are they for? They may not be absolutely necessary, but social science research shows that such societal support certainly helps.

    As for polygamy, I don't even quite know what equality means in terms of state-granted benefits/protections. Any polygamist can already enter into a marriage with any one of his partners and get benefits commensurate w/ any other couple ... while living happily with the rest of his partners. If you want to grant social security survivor benefits to all spouses in a polygamous marriage, or grant health-insurance protections to all spouses, is that really equal?

    As for your comments about "natural children" ... how is that relevant? Couples still get marriage benefits/protections regardless of whether they have "natural" kids or not. And as for adoption, kids are adopted by gay couples because they make great parents, not because there's no straight couples left.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    Mainly Me " OK, I'll bite. One is ordained by God and the other is a perversion of God's law."

    So you speak to and for your God, good for you too, mine talked about love not "perversions", so I guess that's where we'll have to disagree.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 12, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    For the record:
    The British studies cited by the article were the National Child Deveopment Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study. The NCDS and the BCS were prospective studies of all people born in Britain in a particular week in 1958 and 1970. Information was collected from the participants and their families periodically since birth.

    The studies occurred during an era when being gay and being in a same-sex relationship/cohabitation were significantly outside the accepted norms of society. Therefore, were the gay participants in the study typical or atypical of the gay population at large?

    The "slippery slope" argument that gay marriage will lead to polygamy is also a "risk' when using the "religion under attack" arguments. If we ought to respect the right of people to practice their religion how can one draw the line against FLDS and their practice of polygamy?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    @merich39

    It doesn't affect one's straight marriage and NO ONE has said it does.

    It does affect society and it does affect marriage as an institution.

    As one noted gay activist has stated to a cheering audience, they do not really want marriage, they want destroy the institution of marriage.

    It's affect does not happen, when a law is passed nor in day, but does happen over time and will may many decades,

    but we already see in countries that embrace homosexuality, living together, that traditional marriage is going away and society is decaying.

    People can willing live in denial of this but it is already happening. People will choose to see what they want to see to justify their choices

  • DHuber Palmyra, NY
    Aug. 12, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    There is one sort of Same -sex partnership that will never seek "Marriage". It is the situation where one partner has children and is a stay at home mom while the other has a good paying job. The ruse is they call each other roommates so the mother of the children can collect on every form of welfare known. It is a common arrangement that will continue even if Marriage were legalized. They would not dream of losing their welfare benefits.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 12, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    @the truth --

    "It doesn't affect one's straight marriage and NO ONE has said it does."

    Some folks have said exactly that.

    One example: Orson Scott Card. His exact words regarding married gay people: "They steal from me what I treasure most".

    "...they do not really want marriage, they want destroy the institution of marriage."

    It makes as much sense to condemn the entire gay rights movement for the words of one extremist as it does to condemn the entire Mormon culture for Warren Jeffs. IOW, it doesn't make any sense at all.

    "but we already see in countries that embrace homosexuality, living together, that traditional marriage is going away and society is decaying. "

    Baloney. Show us **one** example in which the two can actually be causally connected. Just one.

    @Miss Piggie --

    "Same gender adoption of children is only necessary if/when we run out of opposite gender couples to adopt... which ain't gonna ever happen."

    Actually, it happened long ago. Every year in the US, thousands of children age out of the foster system -- because nobody adopted them. And there are **millions** of orphans across the world who never get adopted.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    @Contrarius

    Card still didn't say it personally affected his marriage.
    He was talking about marriage in general,

    But thanks for playing.

  • Mr. Bean Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:44 p.m.

    @Contrariuser:
    "Baloney, wrz."

    I prefer ham, cheese, and touch of horseradish.

    "Roughly 15 countries already have gay marriage -- and NONE of them have legalized polygamy."

    There's probably that many countries and more who forbid gay marriage and even punish for it... but allow and encourage polygamy.

    "Canada recently reaffirmed their polygamy ban -- even though they've had gay marriage for 10 years."

    We are not Canadians. And we did and do have polygamy. All that's needed is to make it legal and certain folks can get outa jail. How would you feel if this country jailed homosexuals who married?

    "Multiple court decisions in the US have reaffirmed the distinction between gay rights and both polygamy and incest."

    Of course there's a distinction. And there is also the 'Equal Protection' clause that gays continue shoving in our faces. What's good for same sexists is also good for polygamists and incestuousists.

    "So if you oppose polygamy, you should actually SUPPORT civil rights for all... which is the natural order of things"

    I oppose all but heterosexual marriage between one man and one woman.

    ";-)"

    :-()

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 13, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    @Mr. Bean --

    "...that many countries and more who forbid gay marriage and even punish for it... but allow and encourage polygamy."

    Sure. Which further proves that polygamy and gay marriage are NOT actually linked to each other.

    "All that's needed is to make it legal and certain folks can get outa jail. "

    Not many. Folks like Warren Jeffs are usually in prison for child rape.

    "How would you feel if this country jailed homosexuals who married?"

    I would feel that a lot of laws had been changed without my noticing. ;-)

    "What's good for same sexists is also good for polygamists and incestuousists. "

    Nope. Equal protection is always limited by the harm principle. Polygamy and incest cause harm -- gay marriage does not. Therefore government has a legal interest in preventing polygamy and incest, but not in preventing gay marriage.

    "I oppose all but heterosexual marriage between one man and one woman."

    So don't have a gay marriage.

    @the truth --

    "Card still didn't say it personally affected his marriage."

    Right. That's why he said "They steal from me what I treasure most". He said "me" and "I" because he **wasn't** talking about himself. Uh-huh.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 10:04 p.m.

    Don't need studies to recognize the obvious! Acceptance of the truth always leads to hope, something for which every human being yearns.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 3, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    @bandersen --

    "Don't need studies to recognize the obvious! Acceptance of the truth always leads to hope, something for which every human being yearns."

    And the TRUTH is that gay marriage doesn't harm anyone, and that gay marriages HELPS children by encouraging stable families.

    Gay marriage IS about equal rights for all citizens.