Opinion

The death of marriage?

It is a familiar refrain, one that has for years been echoed in the halls of Congress and in the streets of the nation. Our nation is losing those values on which its historical success was built on, goes the familiar mantra, and our country is entering a period of decline precisely because one institution is left barely standing after years of assault. In the final estimate, that one institution-indeed, that one principle-which underlies the USA is that of the healthy, vibrant, marriage institution.

Certainly a degree of social stability does depend upon the health of marriage, which provides the backbone for the family and both raises the children of a society and gives them a stable home to which they can always return as they age. If marriage as an institution were in danger of collapsing in the U.S., then there would be some cause for concern. If the divorce rate had risen at a consistent rate over the past 20 years and if the government was actively passing laws punishing those who decided to get married, worry about the fate of marriage and the family would be appropriate. But there is a slight problem here: none of those aforementioned scenarios are happening. Marriage is not actively being destroyed.

Why the concern, then? Part of it is certainly legitimate, for though the divorce rate has declined roughly 5 percent in the past 35 years, it is arguable that the family as a whole is no stronger because the marriage rate has fallen fairly precipitously: 50 percent over the same period, according to USA Today. The slack is taken up primarily through an increase in cohabitation which, because those relationships do tend to be less stable than marriages, does indicate that marriage today has been weakened. But it is still here, and the weakening that has occurred has come in a climate that permits only heterosexuals to marry.

Homosexual marriages would not weaken the institution; a study done by the University of Washington comparing homosexual and heterosexual couples in the San Francisco area found that homosexuals and heterosexuals ended their relationships at about the same rate. Could this not mean that the divorce rate among homosexuals would be roughly the same as that of heterosexuals? Does this not demonstrate that allowing homosexuals to marry would not mortally wound the institution? If marriage were on its deathbed, such a change would perhaps be unwise. But if marriage is still strong, what should keep us from letting them marry?

Andrew Hamner is a freshman majoring in journalism and political science and can be contacted at a.hamner@miami.edu.

November 19, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.