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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM)

2014: Menu
Starting in Kentucky: Opposition to SSM, based on
the belief that marriage equality causes the birth
rate to decrease, & threaten the states' economies.

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same-sex marriage logo A brief history of theories justifying opposition to same-sex marriage:

Since the 1990's, religious, social and political conservatives have promoted a series of different reasons why they oppose marriage among loving, committed, same-sex couples. In the 12 months between mid-2013, and mid-2014, the main argument used was that children raised by same-sex parents have not thrived nearly as well as those raised by opposite-sex couples. That conclusion, largely based on the Regnerus study at the University of Texas, has been rejected as invalid by the American Sociological Association, and by the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas. 1,2,3 The latter is the employer of Mark Regnerus, the lead researcher in this study. It has been widely criticized by the LGBT movement and civil rights groups because its conclusions were based on only two families in which children had been raised from birth to their teen years by same-sex parents. With such a small sample size, no meaningful results can be obtained from the study. Also, in 2014-JUL, results were made public from an extensive study in Australia. 4,5 They showed that children raised by same-sex couples are, on average, slightly ''healthier and happier" than those raised in a family headed by a woman and a man. 6

During early 2014, a new argument in favor of banning marriage by same-sex couples emerged in a lawsuit at a federal District Court in Kentucky. The case is ironically called "Love v. Beshear." "Love" is the name of the lead plaintiff; "Beshear" is the name of the state Governor. A group of lawyers was hired by the state of Kentucky to preserve the same-sex marriage ban in the state. They argued that those U.S. states with the highest birth rates still banned same-sex marriage whereas the states with the lowest birth rates had attained marriage equality. They concluded that when a state legalizes marriages of same-sex couples, that the birth rate will take a nosedive and that the state's long-term economic status may be threatened.

This is a frightening prospect, because the total fertility rate (TFR) per individual woman in a state or country needs to be slightly in excess of 2.0 in order to stabilize the population -- assuming no net immigration. 7 The TFR in a state is defined as the average number of babies born there to women between the ages of 15 to 44.

According to reporter Ankit Panda, writing for The DIplomat, the World Bank estimates that Japan's TFR had decreased to 1.39 in 2014! He writes:

"One Japanese government estimate 8 finds that should current trends continue, Japan’s population will have shrunk to a paltry 87 million from its current size of 127 million by 2060. Of those 87 million Japanese, as high as 40 percent of the population could be 65 or older. Not only is that a recipe for a social security disaster, but it would also rob Japan of any capacity to remain competitive on the world stage." 9

The Centers for Disease Control, and other sources of information publish birth and fertility rates by state. It only takes a few hours of analysis to determine the validity of the novel birth rate argument raised by the defendants' attorneys in "Loving v. Beshear:"

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Topics discussed in this section:

  • Part 1: Definition of terms. Is the belief that SSM causes a drop in birth rates reasonable? Comments by Senior U.S. District Court Judge John G. Heyburn. The theory fails in Massachusetts.

  • Part 2: 2014: The theory fails in Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

  • Part 3: 2014: The theory fails in Iowa and Vermont.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Zack Ford, "Mark Regnerus’ Own Sociology Department Calls His Anti-Gay Conclusions ‘Fundamentally Flawed',"Think Progress, 2014-MAR-04, at: http://thinkprogress.org/
  2. "The Regnerus Fallout," The Human Rights Campaign, at: http://www.regnerusfallout.org/
  3. Zack Ford, "Michigan officials will defend discrimination with showcase of gay parenting pseudo science." Think Progress, 2013-NOV-18, at: http://thinkprogress.org/
  4. Judd Legum, Major New Study Finds Kids Raised By Same-Sex Couples Are "'Healthier And Happier''," Think Progress, 2014-JUL-05, at: http://thinkprogress.org/
  5. "Children raised by same-sex couples healthier and happier, research suggests," Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), 2015-JUL-05, at: http://www.abc.net.au/
  6. Mark Regnerus, Abstract, "How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study," Social Science Research, Vol. 41, #4, 2012-JUL, Pages 752-770. Access to the full article costs U.S. $35.95!
  7. Joyce A. Martin et al., "Total fertility rate," National Vital Statistic Reports, Volume 62, #9, Page 7, 2013-DEC-13, at: http://www.cdc.gov/
  8. "Japan desperate to tackle its ticking demographic time bomb," The Irish Times - Asia-Pacific, 2014-MAR-22, at: http://www.irishtimes.com/
  9. Ankit Panda, "Japan's Demographic Crisis: Any Way Out?," The Diplomat, 2014-MAR-26, at: http://thediplomat.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > here

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2014-JUL-12
Latest update: 2014-JUL-14
Author: B.A. Robinson
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