Marriage: A panacea?
2. Good for the old
3. Is bridal sweet?
4. Love for sale?
Walking down the aisle: Will this bliss last?
Photo: Sarah Goforth
Numbers like these (charts) give advocates
of marriage the willies. Data: U.S. Census Bureau, cited at Divorce Reform Page
Photo (and at top of page): (c)Paul Toepfer Photography
recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalizing
marriage for gay people aroused a predictable word-storm. Bad for
the kids, say opponents of gay marriage. Good for the kids, say proponents,
who argue that kids do better when raised in the kind of stable relationship
that marriage fosters.
Bad for society, opponents argue, since it
flouts God's law. A humane and necessary expansion of personal liberty,
and a realistic acknowledgement of social diversity, say the opponents'
and untenable, shout the traditional-values crowd. Takes one to know
one, sneer proponents of gay marriage, who note that half of conventional
marriages wind up in divorce courts. (We would add that one-third
of American kids are born to single mothers, and half of all American
kids will live with a single parent at some point.)
Much as we treasure a good fracas, the Why
Files is not going to jump into this fray. Instead, we'd like to
focus on conventional marriages. Are they good for men -- and women?
What about the kids? As the government has entered the marriage-promotion
biz, will that help parents, children and society?
Say "I do." Is marriage a good thing for she and he?
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Bibliography | Credits | Feedback | Search
Terry Devitt, editor; Sarah
Goforth, project assistant; S.V. Medaris,
designer/illustrator; David Tenenbaum, feature
writer; Amy Toburen, content development
©2003, University of Wisconsin, Board of Regents.