Title: Matrimania Continued! Credit: Craig Young Comment Wednesday 9th May 2007 - 12:00pm1178668800 Article: 1708 Rights
Unfortunately, the New Right and Christian Right still keep pushing their quaint notion that heterosexual marriage is the remedy for all that ails society. So where do we fit in? Case in point- there are two new books about the preferability of straight marriage from US and British social conservative academics David Blankenhorn and Patricia Morgan doing the rounds. In Blankenhorn's Future of Marriage, he rehashes all the cliches from selectively cited social science that marriage prolongs the lives of straight men and civilises them, as well as providing the optimal background for child raising. Consequently, he weighs in against government assistance for solo mothers, social welfare payments for families in economic crisis, government subsidised childcare, and liberalised divorce laws. Oh, and same sex marriage, which is also in the above 'cluster.' Cluster appears to mean correlation, which means that there is some vague causal mechanism between straight marriages and same-sex relationship equality, although Blankenhorn remains nebulous on this. Well hey, he is an art historian... As for Patricia Morgan, her analysis is slightly more sophisticated, although slightly more insidious. Morgan believes that government social welfare policies are to blame for the marginality of heterosexual marriage as an optimal institution for child rearing, and castigates the welfare state for encouraging solo mums, inadequate parenting, intergenerational poverty and criminality or further solo motherhood amongst their offspring. She carefully avoids the question of same-sex parenting for a very good reason. The UK gay community caught her citing Paul Cameron in her Christian Institute attack on same-sex parenting, Children as Trophies? (2002), and have never let her forget it. To give Morgan credit though, her prognosis is slightly more developed. Stop welfare benefits and encourage 'civil society' - nongovernmental welfare providers. There's just one problem, which is that such organisations have been left picking up the pieces from Tory social policy disasters over the last two decades and are overburdened enough as it is. Even if the likes of Morgan aren't targeting same-sex families though, shouldn't one object to the general attacks on family diversity and the desire to cause further misery amongst vulnerable families and children on the basis of ideological fanaticism? Recommended: David Blankenhorn: The Future of Marriage: New York: Encounter Books: 2007 Patricia Morgan: The War Between the State and the Family: London: Institute of Economic Affairs: 2007 Craig Young - 9th May 2007    
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