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March 30, 2009

Less Religious New England States Create Same-Sex Marriage Buzz

New England states are weighing same-sex marriage legislation, especially where religious presence may be lacking, according to USA Today analysis.


"A USA TODAY analysis finds that states where the percentage of "nones" - people who say they have no religion - is at or above the national average of 15% are more likely to push expanding the scope of marriage, civil unions or same-sex partner rights," write Cathy Lynn Grossman and Jack Gillum.

Vermont's legislature is expected to vote on a same-sex marriage bill later this week, and the AP outlines other debates going on in the Northeast.

- New Hampshire, which enacted a civil unions law last year, moved a step closer to legalizing gay marriage Thursday when the state House of Representatives voted in favor. The state Senate still must vote, though, and the governor - who signed a civil unions bills last year - opposes it.

- The Vermont Senate has approved a similar measure, but the House has yet to vote. Gov. Jim Douglas vowed Wednesday to veto the bill if it reaches him, spurring a protest that drew about 300 people to the Statehouse on Friday. Protesters say they'll push to get enough votes in the Legislature for a veto override.

- In Maine, a bill to legalize gay marriage has nearly 60 co-sponsors in the Legislature. Gov. John Baldacci, who opposes gay marriage, says he hasn't taken a position on the measure.

Even though is a couple months old, Stateline has a helpful graph showing a state-by-state breakdown.


So what? If you want your religion to be respected, you shouldn't use it as a weapon against an entire class of citizens who don't believe in it. You would be asking the courts for help if a ballot proposal was aimed at taking away your rights, yet you condemn others for seeking the same legal protections.

That is bold faced, flamboyant, hypocrisy, and reckless ignorance. Please stop it!

Be well.

So FlexSF,

Why should government extend rights to couples at all? Isn't that discrimination against single people?

There are plenty of people that would love to get married but apparently no one wants them. Is it fair to them to deny them the same rights as couples? Is it fair to deny groups of more than two the same rights?

It was also recently reported that the most religious states also have the highest divorce rates. However, we don't conclude that accepting Jesus is bad for marriage. That's silly.

The author has made the classic mistake that correlation equals causality; in this case less religion equals greater tolerance for marriage equality. The problem with this is that many things correlate and can lead to all sorts of erroneous conclusions.

Things are never as simple as they seem. We're all required to look deeper to find the real truth.

FlexSF and Patrick: did you even read the article?

The author neither states that one group's rights should be taken away, nor that less religion leads to same-sex marriage support. The article is just pointing out others' research.

Especially FlexSF, saying "stop it!" to "bold faced, flamboyant, hypocrisy, and reckless ignorance". Ummm... this has nothing to do with the article, which I found thought-provoking, though by no means demonstrating causation.

Marriage is an economic issue. Studies show that married people are slightly happier, healthier (less cost), and wealthier (pay more taxes) than their single counterparts and this is true (or even more true) for gay people. Therefore, it is in the best economic interests of the state to allow for marriage equality. And sadly, it show that the intention of Vermont's governor to veto their marriage equality bill is full of hypocrisy.

Actually, Brendan, you are correct. The author never states that one groups rights should be taken away. In fact the author never states an opinion on the topic directly; but neither did I, if you read my comment.

She does however, pass along the sloppy reporting by USA Today with the same provocative title implying a religious connection/correlation to create buzz.

USA Today and the author here could also have reported
"States Bordering Canada Create Same-Sex Marriage Buzz" or
"Low Divorcing States Create Same Sex Marriage Buzz" or
"States That Eat Bread in a Can Create Same Sex Marriage Buzz" or even "States with More Liberal Congregations Create Same Sex Marriage Buzz". These titles don't sell papers though.

All of the above are equally true, yet only the faithless angle was put forth, like in USA Today without any proof to back it up. I find that disappointing.

Agreement on keeping things civil. Statements like "bold faced, flamboyant, hypocrisy, and reckless ignorance" don't actually advance discussion. They just insult people. Too much of that in the world already, no matter what your opinion on this topic.



Patrick, love the alternate headlines, especially "States That Eat Bread in a Can Create Same Sex Marriage Buzz". Now THAT'S what I call correlation not equaling causation! Agree w/ you on keeping it civil; well done on your part.

btw, can you provide a link to that study you cited on the most religious states having the highest divorce rates? I find that fascinating. Thanks.

I remember reading the same statistics that Patrick cites. I'll have to look it up, but I believe Oklahoma has the highest divorce rates and the other Bible belt states fall close behind. I'll see if I can find a link.

Try this. I'm still looking for the one I remember that lists divorce rates by states.


It's interesting that the only way to get the same sex marriage is by politicians voting for it and not by the public voting which would be the ethical way to push the marriage law through as this is a ethical question not a question of law. Marriage has always been defined by religion, whatever the religion you followed not by the politics of the land. When the law got involved was through property rights, ownership of children, rights of women and men,etc. I wonder what the voting results would be
if the public was allowed to do the voting. And what do the statistics about divorce, etc. have to do with changing the definition of marriage. According to your statistics why do the homosexuals want to get married if they will end in divorce. I say do away with marriage completely, that's what these young kids of today are doing anyways, just living together where none of the rights of marriage are given to the woman, just the man. The 1960s hippy drug and free sex ethics is finally soaking into our culture and the young mothers with no men are and will pay the price, mark my word. The value of sex being limited to a married man and woman being downgraded is being used by the homosexuals to their advantage. They are using this downgrading to change the definition of marriage.

Children of God are under constant spiritual attack. Words such as marriage and gay may be formidable weapons, but can only hurt the unguarded heart. I personally don't care whether those who practice homosexuality kidnap and torture the words we use. Their fate, unless they repent, is sealed. The true word and the spirit of the true God living in us can't be changed.

I say let them get "married".

While divorce, per se, may have nothing to do with this conversation, if we are actually discussing something that God says is wrong and not just nagging on the subject of gay marriage, divorce (or subsequent remarriage) is equally unbiblical unless your mate has committed adultery or physically abandoned you (and some even debate those exceptions).

Don't mean to throw a fly in the ointment but hasn't Iowa just blown this thread a bit off course??