Preserving Marriage

You mean it’s not the gays that are breaking them up?

Divorce is as common in the Florida Keys as fresh grouper and cold beer. Census statistics released this week show that Monroe County — which includes the cluster of 1,700 islands floating off South Florida — has the second-highest proportion of divorced residents. A little more than 18 percent of the people living in Monroe County are divorced, second only to Indiana’s Wayne County, which had 19 percent. Nationwide, 10.7 percent of people over 15 are divorced.

Well, we associate the Keys with parties and Hemmingway and snowbirds running from their past and all, and there could be some gay guys painting their houses aqua, but is Indiana a haven of hedonism? What’s up there?

Divorce counselors say the economy could be partly to blame for adding more stress to marriages. Indiana has been hit hard by the collapse of the auto and manufacturing industries. Wayne County had an average annual unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in 2008 — when the census data was collected — a rate above the state average at the time but still below many other areas of the state and country.

Where in our great nation can couples respect their sacred vows? Omigod! It’s the blue state with all those Unitarians, and gays, and gay Unitarians!

Provisional 2008 data from the CDC’s National Vital Statistics Report show that after over four years of legal same-sex marriage, the divorce rate in Massachusetts has actually dropped, from 2.3 per thousand residents in 2007 to about 2.0 per thousand in 2008, the lowest rate in the nation—and one that hasn’t been seen since the 1940’s.

THAT PROVES IT!!!

Well okay, actually it doesn’t prove anything regarding same-sex marriage. But the stats do not support the hypothesis that same-sex marriage has the power to explode all nearby opposite-sex marriages.

This does suggest a modest proposal. Our Governor is deeply concerned about the sacredness of marriage, and we have a dire problem with unemployment. How about he stops running around to conferences and puts in some overtime getting Rhode Islanders back to work? I know it’s boring, and difficult, and he doesn’t get to make victory signs to a cheering crowd like Richard Nixon, or go to one of those nice dinners in a function room but these are hard times, and as he says, we have to make tough choices.

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