Report: Marriages of same-sex couples strikingly similar to other marriages

Posted by Scott Raynor on

"While social conservatives in the 2010 election campaign depict marriage equality as a threat to married life as we know it, Iowa’s 18-month experience with the newly legalized institution has revealed striking similarities to traditional marriage and no discernible harm to it, according to an IowaWatch study.

... "Thousands of same sex couples married during that period, and despite the controversy that has swirled around them, their marriages have endured.

"For many, the marriage license provided a slice of American life previously denied them. For others, the license, because legal limitations remain, is just recognition of relationships already tested by time, legal obstacles and social ostracism.

“'It’s suitable for framing,' said Ellen Lewin, a sociology professor at the University of Iowa, who married her same-sex spouse in Iowa.

"Researchers have studied the meaning and characteristics of unions of same-sex couples for decades. Rather than examining the nature of marriages of same-sex couples to determine the merit of opponents’ arguments, the public debate has focused mostly on opponents’ charge that the freedom to marry will destroy traditional marriage and proponents arguing that gay couples deserve equal rights.

"The IowaWatch study found that similarities range from the way men and women often view marriage to the more mundane tasks of married life, such as doing yard work. Like people in traditional marriages, same-sex couples also talk about raising children and shielding them from the verbal slings of peers, the stability and unit-strength of a family and the value of loving relationships among parents and children, as well as legal necessities and financial security.

"The study is based on more than a dozen interviews with gay couples and national experts and on an examination of journal articles, marriage statistics, census data, polls and court rulings."

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