Amanda Marcotte caught a strange article and chart being promoted by NOM and the Heritage Foundation that uses real data on single motherhood and, as the Religious Right is wont to do, assumes the reader won’t notice when they suddenly blame marriage equality for the problem, without remotely explaining how the two are related:
I’ve long not completely understood why the religious right thinks bringing up the specter of unmarried mothers will somehow convince people that the solution is to ban marriage for the small percent of unmarried mothers who are in same-sex partnerships. The argument has always been some convoluted Martian logic, which you can see reproduced up there, which is that somehow the existence of same-sex marriage will cause people to think that you don’t have to be in a heterosexual marriage to have kids and so they’ll go buck wild, spreading children all over the place without taking care of them or whatever. Never mind that people already figured that out, and that the rise of single motherhood dates to back before most people had even heard of the concept of gay marriage.
It’s amazing how conservatives just assume everyone shares their shockingly misogynist worldview, particularly their assumption that no man would ever openly choose to be with a woman unless he had no other choice. (And vice versa, with the fear that same-sex marriage is giving women “permission” not to be married at all.) These kinds of arguments, no matter how much they try to confuse you by being obtuse and arguing everything through insinuation, never work unless you buy the premise that men and women will not be with each other unless they’re forced to. You really do start to wonder if they think that most currently straight people are going to turn gay now that gay marriage is an option.
It’s truly bizarre logic, and I wonder who they think they’re fooling. Ryan Anderson at Heritage ties himself up in logical knots that presumably only make sense to the people in his office trying to make this work:
“[R]edefining marriage further distances marriage from the needs of children and denies the importance of mothers and fathers. Redefining marriage rejects as a matter of policy the ideal that children need a mother and a father,” explains Heritage’s Ryan T. Anderson. “Redefining marriage diminishes the social pressures for husbands to remain with their wives and children, and for men and women to marry before having children,” he continues.
Amanda really nailed it above, I think. Young, brand-new Ryan is actually suggesting that straight men will look at the existence of gay couples in the neighborhood (possibly even gay couples raising children!) and say, “well, all things being equal, if I don’t have to marry a woman, I guess I’ll just get her pregnant and leave her for a dude!” Or as Amanda put it:
“The Supreme Court overturned DOMA? I’m finally free to dump this lady and get on Grindr!,” Said no man ever.
I know a lot of straight men, and I can honestly say that my being happily out of the closet has never led to a conversation where one of them was like, “You know, Evan? You’re going to fall in love and marry a man, and that’s made me realize I don’t have to stay committed to my wife. I mean, because obviously.”
But then again, I don’t hang out with the kinds of people who are stupid enough to take NOM or Heritage seriously.