Years ago, here in Santa Barbara, I went to a debate about same-sex marriage between Jonathan Rauch and Maggie Gallagher. Rauch, author of Gay marriage: Why it is good for gays, good for straights, and good for America, of course took the pro side. If the name Maggie Gallagher is, to you, an infamous one, then you already know that she opposes same-sex marriage.
As I remember the event, early on, Rauch posed a question to the audience: How many believe the government should simply get out of the marriage business? A fair number of hands went up. He said, in some polite way – forget about it; that will never happen.
I was delighted to discover another blogger making the case for fair treatment of singles, and even better, casting her arguments from an international perspective. The blogger is “Anne,” from a site I just discovered, Why Get Married? Her post was titled, Are Singles Discriminated Against?
[Originally, the subtitle of this post was “Top 2 Critiques.” But comments posted over at Living Single have been terrific, and so some new critiques deserve to be added. You can find them at the end.]
My most recent post over at Living Single celebrates many people who are not getting married today. Here I want to continue the festivities by tossing a bouquet of respect and admiration to those savvy scribes who have said something smart about the topic. No cloying sentimentality, no predictable plaudits, no breathless guessing about who’s in and who’s out.
Here are excerpts from my two favorites.
Singlism alert! Thanks to Jeanine and Peggy for this one. At Yahoo, by way of US News & World Report, we learn this “secret” to attaining bliss after you’re done working for pay: “married or cohabiting couples are more likely than singles to be happy in retirement.”
I can’t find the original report, and I always like to read the original. Nonetheless, this looks easy enough to take on. Does this finding (assuming it is reported accurately) mean that if you get married, you are more likely to be happy in your retirement?
Anyone who has read Singled Out – and not only those readers – can figure out the answer. It is “no.” The study is not counting everyone who ever got married. The researchers are taking all of the people who got married then got divorced or became widowed, and setting them aside or adding them into the singles group. So if you remove at least 43% of the people who ever got married from the married group, then you can say that getting married means that you will be happier in retirement. Note that all singles are included in the singles group, not just the happiest ones.
Thanks for letting us in on the secret, you Yahoo.