Even if you haven’t heard the name Stanley Kurtz, you’ve probably heard references by the anti-gay right to the “Scandinavian study” that, to them, is proof positive that “homosexual marriage” will tear the fabric of our society asunder.
You see, Kurtz did some research in Scandinavia and other European countries that legally recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples, either by allowing them to marry or by giving them something close to marriage. And he found that once the homos were allowed into the marriage game, no one else wanted to play.
After all, if gays can get married then marriage means, essentially, nothing, so why should people get married at all? Kind of like how the Barenaked Ladies used to be cool, but then everybody started liking them and now they kind of suck.
There’s a small problem, however. Kurtz’s “proof” is mostly bunk.
M.V. Lee Badgett, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst professor who researched the so-called Scandinavian study, called Kurtz’s claims “greatly exaggerated.”
While Kurtz’s study and Badgett’s refutation are hardly new, Kurtz earned the title of Creep this week because his study got renewed national play in a June 19 cover story in The New York Times Magazine. Though the author of the article did question the study’s legitimacy, the right-wing does not – and since there is little actual evidence to back up their claims that gays are “ruining it for everyone,” they cling to the Scandinavian study like a raft in the Norwegian Sea.
What’s most bizarre about Kurtz’s study is that he pins out-of-wedlock births on gays. This is because he can’t pin declining or plummeting marriage rates on the gays – because marriage in the European countries he studied is actually doing pretty well, thank you.
“Giving gay couples rights does not inexplicably cause heterosexuals to flee marriage, as Kurtz would have us believe,” Badgett wrote in a May 20, 2004 article on Slate.com. “Looking at the long-term statistical trends, it seems clear that the changes in heterosexuals’ marriage and parenting decisions would have occurred anyway, even in the absence of gay marriage.”
You mean that homosexuals don’t have the power to force heteros to churn out child after out-of-wedlock child and abandon marriage? Curses! Foiled again.
Does that mean we also don’t have an infrared eye capable of igniting fires via the power of our evil thoughts? Say it isn’t so…
Read Badgett’s Slate article at http://slate.msn.com/id/2100884. After all, knowing the truth is half the battle.