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View Diary: Ten Years Ago Today: The Massachusetts SJC Declares Marriage Equality (26 comments)

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  •  Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate (7+ / 0-)

    in the nation.

    •  unfortunately few know This. (5+ / 0-)

      Too is a direct blow to their arguments.

    •  commonmass, why do you suppose that is? (3+ / 0-)

      It's intriguing. I read somewhere that the red states have the highest divorce rate. Why?

      I think such statistics should be more widely disseminated.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 06:36:53 AM PST

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      •  My guess is demographics and finances: (4+ / 0-)

        Highly educated population, people marry later, and it's very expensive to get divorced especially since housing is at a premium--expensive, and difficult to come by especially in the Boston Metro area.

      •  Well, it could be argued (3+ / 0-)

        that all those same-sex marriages staying together outweigh the straight marriages that fall apart for various reasons. ;-) But I'd say it's probably more due to education and average age of first marriage; people in blue states tend to wait longer, until they're established in their careers (and maybe a good start at paying off the student loans) before they get married. In red states, they tend to marry young, haven't had much experience with other people, and find out that marrying your "first love" isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

        An anecdotal story: after my mom died one of my sisters got in touch with a cousin from my dad's side of the family (my mom never got along with her in-laws, perhaps because they saw her as a home wrecker; my dad was engaged to someone else when he met my mom in San Francisco after WWII). We're all out here in California; my dad's family barely strayed past the Missouri state line. The cousin sent back an email a short time later, with a full report of what was going on with that branch of the family tree. Most of the cousins were on their second or third marriages, while those of us in "decadent" California were all on our first marriages.

        While my oldest sister did marry at 19 (mainly to get pregnant quickly to keep her beloved out of the draft), the rest of us waited till well into our 20s (32 in my case) before tying the knot.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:28:23 AM PST

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      •  I'm guessing the reason it's not (0+ / 0-)

        better known is that increases in divorce has historically been correlated with the ability for women to support themselves and their children on their own. Nobody wants marriages to go bad, but once they do, especially in circumstances where a spouse is violent, it's important that divorce is an option.

        So divorce was never a good boogeyman.

      •  Red states have (0+ / 0-)

        more rural and less educated populations. So, they marry sooner since college is a major reason people delay marriage.
        Teen marriages break up more often than later marriages.

        Also, red states are more religious. You'd think this would make for a lower divorce rate and, when no-fault divorce first became legal, it did.  But beginning in the '70s, evangelicals adopted a theory of marriage that combined romantic love with a particular view of divine providence to claim that God picked out a "perfect mate" for each person. This is NOT traditional church teaching. It is really quite recent.

        Under the influence of this teaching, when marital problems arise, the conclusion is reached, "We got it wrong. I didn't marry "God's first choice" for me." So, with divorce easier than in previous generations, it has become more widespread.

        As divorce became more socially acceptable (once there were tons of churches, from all over the spectrum, that wouldn't perform second marriages and barely tolerated couples who got a second marriage at a courthouse), churches switched to having "marriage support groups" and "divorce recovery groups." So, the divorce rate accelerated.

        And economic stresses are huge on marriages. Most marriages end because of money. Even if there's been infidelity, it is often fights over money which lead to wandering eyes in one or both spouses. And red states have more unemployment, especially among the less-educated, rural, blue-collar types who also marry early. So, it increases the cycle.

        Honestly, if conservative Catholics and evangelicals REALLY wanted to address a "threat to traditional marriage," they would stop freaking out over marriage equality and work to lower divorce rates--by dealing with underlying causes, not by trying to reinstitute social ostracism of the divorced.

        "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

        by SouthernLeveller on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 07:04:06 PM PST

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