Marriage Equality Opponents: Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead To More Single-Mother Families


The Heritage Foundation and the National Organization for Marriage are once again peddling some very distorted data to try to support their argument against marriage equality. On Thursday, NOM promoted Heritage’s chart showing how single mothers are more likely to be living in poverty, but according to Ryan T. Anderson, protégé of NOM co-founder Robert George, marriage equality will exacerbate that poverty:

ANDERSON: Redefining 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. 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.

In other words, if men are free to marry other men, they’ll first marry women, then have children, and then abandon their families — presumably to marry men.

As Alvin McEwen points out, “the Heritage Foundation offers no proof that marriage equality leads to single-mother families.” Indeed, the study is based on census data and presents no comparable information about the experience of children in same-sex families. This follows a long trend of conservative groups citing studies about “fatherless” children — those being raised by single mothers — and trying to attribute those results to families headed by lesbian couples. Such claims assume that the presence of a father is the presiding factor — not the presence of two parents committed to each other and the upbringing of their children.