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Same-Sex Partnerships Would Help Lower the Divorce Rate

It's amusing that the Family Foundation should be surprised that marriages between couples holding college degrees are more stable than those with partners of lesser education levels ("Anti-Gay-Marriage Group Zeroes in on Divorce Rate," Street Talk, July 25).

It might also interest them to know that those states which allow legal recognition of same-sex relationships (domestic partnerships, civil unions) have, on average, substantially lower divorce rates than those imposing constitutional amendments banning such recognition. Also, more than three years after the first same-sex marriage was solemnized there, Massachusetts still retains the lowest divorce rate in the nation.

Given social conservatives' concern that supporting same-sex couples somehow represents a threat to "traditional marriage," it's fascinating that practical, real-life examples seem to indicate just the opposite to be the case.

As the Family Institute considers options for reducing divorce rates, my hope is that they pursue an agenda which helps youth and young adults make wise decisions about entering into so serious a contract as marriage. Far better to work from that perspective than to seek a course of action making it more difficult to extricate victims from unhealthy relationships within marriages which perhaps should never have occurred.

Kenneth C. Decker
Board member, GLSEN Richmond
Board member-elect, PFLAG Richmond

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