The Corner

The one and only.

Ssm in Scandinavia


Will gay marriage strengthen or undermine the institution of marriage? That question is the core of the gay marriage debate. Up to now, both sides have been confined to speculation. Now, however, I believe I have shown that gay marriage does undermine marriage. My new piece, “The End Of Marriage in Scandinavia,” makes a systematic case that gay marriage has furthered the decline of marriage in Scandinavia. In the course of this argument, I show that the Scandinavian experience refutes the “conservative case” for gay marriage. While I concentrate on Scandinavia, this piece has much to say about the meaning of gay marriage-and the state of marriage itself-throughout the Western world. This piece shows why the United States is particularly vulnerable to the disruptive effects of gay marriage. It shows why a state-by-state patchwork solution for gay marriage won’t work. It shows why Vermont-style civil unions will leave us no better off than formal gay marriage. It shows why the analogy between interracial marriage and gay marriage is misplaced. Above all, this piece shows that marriage can die, and is in fact dying somewhere in the world right now (not coincidentally, in the one part of the world that has had de facto gay marriage for more than a decade). Again and again, advocates of gay marriage have spoken of the resilience of marriage, and the supposedly false fears of their opponents. To them I say, look to Scandinavia and you’ll see what the future of marriage will be if you have your way. Some conservatives, noting that we lack sufficient empirical data on the effects of gay marriage, call for state-by-state experimentation. In “The End of Marriage in Scandinavia,” I show why these experiments will be neither containable nor reversible in their effects. Fortunately, we have no need for experiments in gay marriage. Scandinavia has run our experiment for us. The results are in. Have a look at “The End of Marriage in Scandinavia.”