Yesterday I posted an announcement of my new piece on gay marriage. This piece, I believe, will shift the gay marriage debate from speculation about the future to a discussion of present realities. For that reason, I see it as the most important piece on gay marriage I’ve ever published. I was disappointed to discover yesterday that the web version of this article contained some errors. Parts of the text were garbled and out of place. Those errors have now been fixed. Although this new piece is significantly shorter than my earlier piece, “Beyond Gay Marriage,” the website is having trouble with longish articles right now. To solve the problem, my new article has been broken up into a Part I and a Part II. The parts are linked and you can easily read through the whole thing. But if you want a printed version, you’ll have to print both parts separately. Sorry for the trouble. At any rate, here once again is my announcement–this time with a link to a good version of the text.
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.”