Marriage and Parenthood for Minorities
Although those who wish to fling accusations of bigotry seldom manage to hear, I’ve long maintained that same-sex marriage is a bad idea because of its effects on the institution, not a matter of oppression. The typical response is the intellectually inept claim that calling a particular same-sex relationship “marriage” will not affect any particular existing opposite-sex marriage. That’s more likely than not to be true, but it’s the cultural effect that will have repercussions, harming the most vulnerable in our society, for whose welfare a strong marital culture should be reclaimed and maintained.
The point arises, at this time, because of an echo in a race-related AP article that’s been widely published over the past few days (emphasis added):
The founder estimates more than 300 celebrations are being held this weekend. The aim is to try to stabilize, if not reverse, the trend of non-commitment within the black community. According to 2009 census figures, 41.9 percent of black adults had never married, compared to 23.6 percent of whites. Studies show blacks also are more likely than other ethnic groups to divorce and bear children out of wedlock.
Experts blame the disparities in part on high black male unemployment, high black male imprisonment and the moderate performance of black men in college compared with black women.
They also note the lack of positive images of black marriage in the media and several misperceptions about matrimony – that it’s for white people, that it’s a ball and chain, that fatherhood and marriage are not linked.
If marriage is principally about the love and comfort of the adults, and not about the fact that what they do tends to create children, then those inclined to shirk responsibility are free of a cultural mechanism to tie them to their children, and the other adult with whom those children are biologically linked. Our society has certainly gone too far down that path, already, but changing the legal definition of “marriage” would cement the flawed principle into the culture.