Is Marriage a Universal Right? What is Wrong with Gay Marriage
Same-Sex Marriage and Children is a history of how both the law and social science culminated in court cases that ultimately led to the success of marital equality in Obergefell. Professor Carlos A. Ball, Distinguished Professor of Law & Judge Frederick Lacey Scholar at Rutgers University Law School, has law degrees from both Cambridge University (UK, 1995) and the Columbia University School of Law (1990). He states that the purpose of his book was to “bring together historical, social science, and legal considerations and analyses to explore the role that procreative and child welfare claims have played in
policy and legal debates involving same-sex marriage” (p. 6). In chapter one, the book reviews conservative attempts to derail a number of past legal challenges to traditional assumptions about the nature and role of marriage and parenting. Chapters two and three delve into some of the false arguments about the alleged procreational function of marriage that would have (allegedly) been damaged by legal acceptance of same-sex marriage or other false arguments that marital status per se, parent’s gender, or a parent’s biological relationship to a child had material effects on child outcomes.
This review paper finds that the three best estimates (medians) of gay/lesbian (GL)(SSA) relationship lengths are 3.6y/4.95y (male/female) (Lau, 2012, UK); 4.7y/3.3y (m/f), (Carpenter & Gates, 2008, US); and 2.7y/3.9y (m/f) (Gebhard & Johnston, 1979, US). The two US studies have an overall median of 3.7y/3.6y (m/f), meaning male/female results are similar length. These are compatible with the UK study, and much less than the heterosexual (OSA) median length of 27y with a marriage in the 1970s, the period which had the highest subsequent divorce rate. OSA median relationships (UK) are 7.7 times/5.6 times (m/f) the length of SSA ones. US data give respectively and similarly, 7.4x/7.2x, and these are large ratios. Other supporting USA data, although consistent with the above medians, are potentially subject to more bias from “volunteer error,” hence may be maxima. Similar or lower results are found cross-culturally. There is no trend with time for combined data for GL since WWII in spite of increased societal acceptance. For bisexuals and overall relationships with either sex, the median lengths are indistinguishable from GL: i.e., 3.5y/3.2y (m/f). The lack of clear gender difference in medians confirms earlier suggestions that factors reducing relationship length may be inherent to same-sex attraction rather than dependent on gender or experiences of homophobia, since bisexuals experience much less homophobia but have similar median relationship lengths. The possibility of a 25y SSA relationship length is about 5% compared with about 50% for a 25y OSA one (i.e., Silver wedding) and should not be presented to clients as a likely outcome of seeking same-sex relationships. Another implication is that there is high probability children involved will suffer the equivalent of a divorce. The probability of some degree of orientation change under therapy is at least ten times as great as reaching the 25y mark in a GL relationship.