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NOM Claims: If Gays Are Allowed To Marry, Husbands Will Leave Their Wives!


It's no secret that the National Organization for Marriage is dissatisfied with the Supreme Court's recent decisions that did away with Prop 8 and Section 3 of DOMA. After plenty of ranting and raving, the organization has now resorted to some of their older tactics, which include distorting facts and figures. This time around, NOM and The Heritage Foundation are trying to present pseudo-scientific data linking marriage equality with single motherhood, children in poverty, and the claim that men will start to leave their wives if they are allowed to marry other men. 

The data in question comes via a chart publicized by the two groups, comparing rates of poverty of single-mother households to that of two-parent households. Not surprisingly, when compared side-by-side, single-mother households ranked significantly higher. While this may not come as a shock to very many, subsequent arguments made by Heritage's Ryan T. Anderson just might:

"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, "redefining marriage" would create more of these single-mother households, since husbands will no longer feel obligated to stay with their wives after they have children. This would then lead to increased levels of poverty, much like the ones illustrated in the chart. Alvin McEwen was good enough to point out that “the Heritage Foundation offers no proof that marriage equality leads to single-mother families.” Furthermore, ThinkProgress also observes that...

"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."

Single-momRaw Story presented another interesting counter-argument, claiming that growing acceptance of LGBT people and their rights actually reduces the number of straight marriages that are torn apart when one spouse chooses to come out. 

"It’s homophobia that causes people to get married, have kids, and struggle for years before the pressure of living a lie causes them to come out, divorce their spouse, and live as a gay person."

To substantiate this, they presented data which indicated that there are actually more same-sex couples raising kids in red states and areas with more overt homophobia. They argue "that’s because, despite gay couples adopting or having kids together, most gay parents still got their kids during a closeted period in their life."

Whether you agree with the latter claim or not, there is almost no denying that the former claim made by NOM and Heritage is a stretch at best, and is one that echoes many previous arguments previously made by opponents of marriage equality. Raw Story is not surprised: 

"Threatening women with male infidelity or with the fear that men will reject marriage if there’s other options available is a long-standing argument against women’s sexual liberation, so it’s not surprising that the anti-gay arguments are basically an extremely strained attempt to do the same thing."

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  1. Wait, what?

    Posted by: Jack M | Jul 23, 2013 1:02:26 PM

  2. they're partially correct; it's the same mentality that leads Cuccinelli to want to ban oral sex.

    he's a closeted kinsey-6 homosexual. he's married. he wants a REASON to never go down on his wife. or have her woman-mouth go down on him.

    look at the anti-gays; these folks dont' have orgasms. look at their husbands: they're closeted'mos.

    the more equality spreads, the more their bitterness about a miserable non-life grows. the more their excuses for their cowardice and hate become null.

    oh well. not our problem.

    they're pretty much saying "if gays aren't discriminated against our spouses will have no reason to keep lying! our kids who might be gay need to know to NEVER come out! what will the neighbors think!?!?!"

    your neighbors already hate you, folks.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 23, 2013 1:03:20 PM

  3. There's no rest for the wicked!

    Posted by: cosmo | Jul 23, 2013 1:06:55 PM

  4. Great article, RJ. I've truly come to believe that the NOM hysteria -- as well as nearly all 'ex-gay' theology -- is based on a belief that we shouldn't take lightly: they essentially believe that all of mankind inherently bisexual.

    Think about it. They seem to believe that any guy could be tempted to flee a ball and chain miserable marriage for the carefree romp of a gay "lifestyle," unless we publicly denounce gay people and make sure people believe that they're not acceptable.

    Of course, I'd argue that the leaders of these organizations are closeted, frustrated bisexuals themselves, presuming that everyone is as attracted to both sexes the same way they are.

    It's just a theory, but considering how many of these leaders have eventually been found in compromising positions, I think there's something to it!

    Posted by: GMB | Jul 23, 2013 1:07:33 PM

  5. boy oh boy, what a stretch. I'm waiting for NOM to claim next that the whole straight-marriage-spoiled-because-hubby-turns-gay thing is because of toothpaste. Or maybe it's those nasty Carl's Jr. ads. Or maybe it's the scarcity of holy water in the schools.

    Posted by: rroberts | Jul 23, 2013 1:10:46 PM

  6. This only makes sense when you accept that that anti-gay activists are really secretly gay and that the only thing keeping them in the closet and straight-married is the outside pressure. When gay marriage becomes accepted, they would be under too much pressure to come out and get gay married.

    Posted by: Steve | Jul 23, 2013 1:11:14 PM

  7. If we needed any more evidence that homophobes are only extremely self-loathing closet cases, it is these people's insistence that only legal discrimination keeps everyone from being gay.

    Posted by: kit | Jul 23, 2013 1:13:33 PM

  8. well, that's exactly it, STEVE.

    republicans dont' want their potentially-gay kids to ever feel safe enough to Come Out.

    Rick Warren prefers his son dead, than alive and openly-gay.

    check out the documentary "Bridegroom" - the young man that died? his parents feel the same way; RELIEF that their gay son died so that they could cart his corpse back home, have a big old funeral and pretend he was straight. buried in the closet he didn't want to be in, in life.

    Sarah Palin. Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney and his kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews. Brian Brown. Peter Labarbera. Magge Gallagher...

    between just them, how many kids are there? a lot. and they think they're all straight? not even remotely probable. but anti-gay fear is what they need to keep their Family looking "traditional".

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 23, 2013 1:14:50 PM

  9. @GMB
    I think you might be on to something with your bisexual theory.

    Posted by: jk | Jul 23, 2013 1:19:06 PM

  10. Abortions are a solution to unwed pregnancy. So I don't want to hear it.

    Posted by: zfds | Jul 23, 2013 1:19:19 PM

  11. These dopes need to pick up a copy of "Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies."


    Posted by: Jeff | Jul 23, 2013 1:20:43 PM

  12. Marriage HAS been redefined as men no longer feel obligated to stay with their children's mothers. That's why we ave the high rate of single parent homes and a divorce rate over 50%. Don't stick THAT on the Gays.. If this is an example of their Christian values, perhaps St. Petersburg, RUSSIA would be more to their liking. ASSHATS.

    Posted by: Pdxblueyes | Jul 23, 2013 1:24:31 PM

  13. Wow! Don't know how to react.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 23, 2013 1:41:58 PM

  14. "It’s homophobia that causes people to get married, have kids, and struggle for years before the pressure of living a lie causes them to come out, divorce their spouse, and live as a gay person."

    ok, so let gay people marry each other then they wouldn't have to feel pressured into marrying someone of the opposite sex in the first place - duh!

    Posted by: alakazam | Jul 23, 2013 1:47:52 PM

  15. And, damn, I was just about to for-go being gay and marry a woman instead but thank God Prop 8 was struck down.

    How flipping dumb are these people?

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 23, 2013 1:51:51 PM

  16. Apparently being married to a woman and raising kids with her is so horrible that no one would ever do it if they had any other options.

    I had no idea that my friend O. was only pretending to be excited about starting a family with his wife, and is really just doing it reluctantly because of social pressures.

    I guess we'd better keep up that social pressure trapping men in misery with their wives and children, otherwise it only makes sense that they'd all immediately try to flee.

    PS I am a DEFENDER OF MARRIAGE who strongly believes that MARRIAGE IS GREAT.

    Posted by: Distingue Traces | Jul 23, 2013 1:54:20 PM

  17. THEM...gays cause hetero infidelity, gays cause STD's, gays cause hetero divorce rates to skyrocket, gays cause the end of the world as we know it, gays cause teen suicide.
    US...gays are fabulous, cause brilliant color, gays cause dance music, gays cause hair to look delicious & of course we cause trim bodies.
    I'll take the "US" side anyday!

    Posted by: Paul B. | Jul 23, 2013 1:55:43 PM

  18. @Paul B.

    stereotype much?

    Posted by: ohm | Jul 23, 2013 2:01:55 PM

  19. We are *so* powerful.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jul 23, 2013 2:04:31 PM

  20. If a man will leave their wife because gays can get married, REJOICE WIFE for you have been in a sham marriage all along.

    Posted by: Michael Heynz | Jul 23, 2013 2:07:45 PM

  21. This is not a new argument for these people. Ten or more years ago as I studied for my Masters Degree in conflict resolution, I focused on marriage equality as a subject about which I did a lot of research and wrote a lot of papers. I had the occasion to review the anti-gay agenda of the Family Research Council. I was taken aback by their claim that men would leave their wives in droves if marriage equality and social acceptance of queers became the rule of the land.

    However, I think, perhaps, there is some truth in this when it comes to closeted, married gay men who finally accept themselves. The outcome, while beneficial in the end for all involved, is a sad situation when it's happening brought on by an ignorant culture, something these political/religious conservatives want to continue.

    It is also a recognition of something Dan Savage said recently on TV: Men think with their dicks. If you really want stable marriages, ban men from marrying--either each other or women--and only allow women to marry each other since they tend to have more stable, long lasting relationships. Of course, this is being said by a man who is married and raising a child, a relationship that has lasted for nearly 20 years I believe, most without the benefit of the legal protections that come with marriage.

    While funny, I think it speaks to something that religious conservatives recognize with great fear: men--and Nature--like multiple sex partners which helps keep the human race going. However, it makes monogamy difficult without the restrictions, from a Christian point of view, of religious teachings and the promise of Hell if you disobey. (Not to bash Christianity, other religions have their own eternal punishments for homosexuals.) Hence, we have organizatgions like NOM and the Family Research Council.

    But this truth about men--gay and straight--is not a reason to subject a minority to less rights under the law and to restrict them from marrying if they are willing to make the commitment, no matter how long that relationship might last. Instead, it's an opportunity to approach human nature with the creativity to understand and re-structure society's response in a non-obvious way rather than continuing to oppress a minority in the hope that there will be a different outcome or, better yet, a god will finally descend from somewhere and make us all obey, proving them right and us wrong.

    Posted by: barryearle | Jul 23, 2013 2:13:12 PM

  22. Hee hee, Excellent posts here.

    I can't see any problem; if guys want to leave their wives and have a loving relationship or not with another guy, so what.

    Is NOM trying to establish the straight-marriage police ?
    Are 'straight' guys waking up to the enforced manipulation of their insecurities ?
    These so called 'straights' were dragooned ........imagine all those disappointed High School sweethearts.....
    The comedy rolls on.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 23, 2013 2:15:18 PM

  23. OHM...take your meds, it was a joke!

    Posted by: Paul B. | Jul 23, 2013 2:28:55 PM

  24. Signifying is worse than lying.

    When NOM & HF express concern for single-mother households in poverty, and then they take NO action to assist these moms, it reveals them for who they are.

    Editorial embellishment is unnecessary. Through their own lack of action, they've condemned themselves.

    Posted by: OUTinMinnesota | Jul 23, 2013 2:31:30 PM

  25. Late last night I saw something that makes sense now. A band of straight men (I saw the glint of light on their wedding rings) armed with spray paint was running around tagging everything with "Homosex Rules" and "Better Gay Any Day" and like such comments.

    They had abandoned wives and girl friends to go on a frenzy.

    NOM is right -- Can society afford to go around cleaning up after them? I think not, paint doesn't come off that easy.

    Posted by: It's happening already! | Jul 23, 2013 2:37:12 PM

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