Gilding the lily

When last we visited Secular Right, John Derbyshire was arguing that gay marriage needed to remain illegal for the benefit of America's "cognitively-challenged underclass." Heterosexual marriage, Derbyshire explained, served as an "anchoring institution for them to aspire to."

Now here comes blogmate Heather MacDonald to make what I'm sure is an entirely unrelated point:
One overpowering cause of black social failure is the breakdown of marriage in the black community. Nationally, the black illegitimacy rate is 71%; in some inner city areas, it is closer to 90%. When boys grow up without any expectation that they will have to marry the mother of their children, they fail to learn the most basic lesson of personal responsibility. A community without the marriage norm is teetering on the edge of civilizational collapse, if it has not already fallen into the abyss. Fatherless black boys, who themselves experience no pressure to become marriageable mates as they grow up, end up joining gangs, dropping out of school, and embracing a “street” lifestyle in the absence of any male authority in the home.

If the black illegitimacy rate were not nearly three times the rate of whites’, I would have few qualms about gay marriage. Or if someone can guarantee that widespread gay marriage would not further erode the expectation among blacks that marriage is the proper context for raising children, I would also not worry. But no one can make that guarantee. |Heather MacDonald|

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