Right-Wing Utopia: Gays Can't Marry and Straights Can't Divorce
This is by Roy Edroso and was cross-posted from Alicublog.
Let's be fair to our anti-gay-marriage, social conservative friends. They don't just want to keep gay people from entering the bonds of matrimony -- they also want to keep straight people from ever getting out of them.
You may not have noticed, but no-fault divorce has become a big deal among this crowd. It appears inspired by New York state's brand-new impending no-fault law. So social cons and their audiences take a break from the monotony of beating on homosexuals, and lament that fewer people are trapped in loveless marriages than in grandpa's day.
At World magazine, Alisa Harris has a heart-rending story:
Two days after Christmas in 1993, Thomas McClintock's wife told him she was leaving him. After five placid years of marriage, he was shocked and willing to do whatever it took to keep her.
"I thought we were a good match," he said. "[Our marriage] wasn't all that great but it wasn't that bad and I thought it was something we could work on."
But days later she left her job, her dog, her house, her country, and her husband. She came back a few months later. They sat down and divided their finances. Then she was gone.
That bitch! Harris rubs Tom's shoulders and whispers there, there:
McClintock, then a resident of Virginia, said he considers himself a "victim" of unilateral no-fault divorce: "What other kind of legal contract can you end like that without any kind of legal consequences?"
I will have my pound of flesh -- closest to your uterus!
Poor Harris has a hard job. She unwisely acknowledges that Bible Belt and anti-gay states actually have higher divorce rates than the other kind. Here's her explanation:
States that have low divorce rates also tend to have low marriage rates. Arkansas, for instance, has the second-highest divorce rate (5.9 per 1,000 people), but it also has more marriages per year: 12.1 marriages per 1,000 people as opposed to Massachusetts' 5.9 marriages per 1,000 people.
Thus red states show their respect for marriage by having lots of them, and then getting divorces. Third time's the charm, Lutie-belle!
Among the remedies Harris' experts suggest: Covenant marriage, the double-secret-probation of wedlock. That should go over huge in New York! But Harris has to admit that covenant marriage's success has been negligible, and retreats into gibberish, implying that no-fault means criminal spouses go scott-free: "If a man beats his wife in the face with a barbell until she's unrecognizable, as one man did," she says, "then society should say this is wrong." Assault charges don't quite do it -- society should force that man to stay married to his abused wife! It'll teach them both a lesson!
There are plenty of others out there (" No-Fault Divorce is Institutionalized Evil"), but all you really need to know is that both Gay Patriot and the Heritage Foundation are against no-fault divorce. When they think it will advance their cause, they pretend they oppose no-fault divorce for the sake of women and children. But I think it's really just a knee-jerk reaction they have when someone escapes.
UPDATE. The good Roger Ailes writes in comments: "If we can force spouses to stay married, we should be able to force single people to get married. 'Do you, "Gay Patriot," take this woman, Kathryn Jean Lopez, to be your lawful wedded wife?'" I smell sitcom!