Opponents of same sex marriage often say they are trying to protect the institution of marriage when they oppose same sex marriage. I say they are a little late. If they really wanted to "save the institution of marriage" they needed to start saving it 50 years ago.
These same groups who so loudly assert that gay marriage will destroy their beloved institution haven't had much to say about the slow continual decline of marriage over the last 50 years. Marriage is on life support in the USA and if marriage is supposed to be the mechanism for creating nurturing environments to raise children in, we're not doing so well.
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Even one of their own, a local pastor from one of Colorado's largest churches, in his posted opposition to gay marriage said "[Heterosexuals] have done far more damage to the institution of marriage than homosexuals ever have."
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Marriage is in shambles. As a relationship counselor couples come to me with many issues: drug problems, emotional abuse, affairs, both online and the internet kind; disconnected from each other, angry, resentful and hopeless. Many of these couples end up divorced.
- A 2008 study the divorce rate in the USA for all adults is about 33%. The born-again Christians, perhaps the most vocal anti-gay marriage opponents, have a divorce rate of at least 33%, and according to some research, may actually have a higher divorce rate then the population as a whole.
- According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy in 41% of marriages one or both partners admit to infidelity, either physical or emotional. Given the secretive nature of affairs it is very likely that this number is under-reported.
- The National Crime Statistics Report from 1993 that domestic violence occurs in 60% of marriages and is the most underreported crime. There is no evidence that domestic violence has lessened in the last 20 years.
- The same report states that for 90% of these battered women their children were present when they were beaten.
- L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women states that 25% to 30% of adolescent relationships are abusive. Many of these children witnessed abuse growing up. Children learn how to do relationship based on what they see their parents do.
What are the opponents of gay marriage afraid of? They hide behind the mantra of "protecting the institution of marriage." Protect from what? What marriage needs protection from is the good people who have been in charge of the marriage institution up until now not the LGBT people who love each other and want to demonstrate that commitment through marriage.