Over the weekend, the National Organization for Marriage posted a chart on its Facebook page highlighting the downward trend in marriage rates over the past 50 years. The caption provided with the chart concluded that the trend supported arguments that there are consequences to same-sex marriage:
Marriage rates down, out-of-wedlock birth rates up. Conservatives may have correctly predicted the consequences of same-sex marriage.
But Laurel Ramseyer at Pam’s House Blend noticed that the graph actually disproves that very claim. She added a helpful red arrow to the chart to indicate which data points were actually impacted by the legalization of same-sex marriage — just the one:
Of course, common sense also counteracts NOM’s claims. Same-sex couples actually want to get married, so allowing them to would — if anything — increase the marriage rate, because more adults would be eligible to marry and thus more would do so. Moreover, as NOM constantly reminds, same-sex couples cannot naturally have their own children, so it’s unclear how they could have any impact on out-of-wedlock births. Given the lengthy and expensive proactive effort required for same-sex couples to adopt or pursue surrogacy options, they are actually more likely to be raising children in committed homes. If NOM wants more of those children to have married parents, opposing marriage rights for their parents is an odd way of showing it.