Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | January 17, 2010

Silver’s stats don’t lie

Nate Silver, the statistics genius who correctly predicted the outcome of the 2008 presidential election in March, shines his statistics spotlight on the argument made by marriage equality opponents that same-sex marriage harms heterosexual marriage. His findings? “Over the past decade or so, divorce has gradually become more uncommon in the United States. Since 2003, however, the decline in divorce rates has been largely confined to states which have not passed a state constitutional ban on gay marriage.”

Silver also notes that “The state which experienced the highest increase in its divorce rate over the period (Alaska, at 17.2 percent) also happens to be the first one to have altered its constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, in 1998.”

I really don’t want to hear hear the “same-sex marriage is bad for heterosexual marriage” argument ever again. The proper response to anyone who tries to use it is ridicule and derision, perhaps tinged with pity, much like you’d respond to an adult who believes in the tooth fairy or who thinks the earth is flat. There’s simply no evidence to support it, and “statistically significant” evidence that counters it.


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