Thursday, June 29, 2006

Apples to Oranges

The article that finally inspired me to start writing about all this stuff was a debate in USA Today about whether gays and lesbians should adopt. The central point these two (straight?) men debate is whether gay and lesbian couples are indeed stable, and thus whether being adopted by such a couple would be better for children than the inherently unstable environment of the foster care system.

Let's set aside the fact that the numbers they're discussing are at best outdated, at worst irrelevant. The central premise of their argument seems flawed. They are comparing the relative longevity of gay/lesbian relationships to straight marriages. But that's comparing apples to oranges. A good many straight relationships break up long before they get to the alter, just like gay and lesbian relationships which last varying amounts of time. And, of course, since gays and lesbians can't marry most places in the world, it's harder to track data about how long the committed queer relationships last. But this is what needs to be looked at in comparison to that 50% success rate with straight marriages - how many gay/lesbian couples who consider themselves married survive? If we're going to have this debate, please let's have it on an equal playing field.


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