The latest figures taken from the 2010 U.S. Census reveal that, in the terminology of the Census Bureau, there are more than 27 million opposite-sex couple households (both married and unmarried) with children, as compared with 115,000 same-sex couple households (both married and unmarried) with children.

This striking imbalance proves conclusively that male-female households will bear almost the entire burden of raising the next generation.

Conversely, same-sex couple households – four out of five of which have no children – will play only a minor role in nurturing and educating the citizens of tomorrow.

This data also reminds us that the word “couple” is not a synonym for “family.”

Contrary to the claim that legalization of same-sex marriage will strengthen the institution of marriage for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, experience in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Denmark), where same-sex marriage was legalized some 15 years ago, indicates that fewer people are getting married.

To quote one prominent cultural anthropologist: “Marriage is slowly dying in Scandinavia,” and with it there is skyrocketing family dissolution. Parenthood and registered partnerships have largely replaced marriage, and a majority of children are born out of wedlock.

Another quote: “Gay marriage has served to validate the belief that individual choice trumps family form.” (Scholars consider Scandinavia as a bellwether of family developments likely to spread to other Western nations.)

Those who will vote on the same-sex marriage referendum in November, especially young people, might ponder this information as they enter the voting booth.

Walter J. Eno

Scarborough

 

In letters to the editor on May 26 that support redefining marriage, writers seek to advance the notion that if one does not favor redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, then one is against equality and favors unjust discrimination. This line of reasoning in order to coerce people into what is essentially redefining reality is not only insulting but dangerous.

In one erroneous analogy, a writer insists that to deny the right to marry to same-sex couples is exactly the same as the truly unjust laws denying interracial marriage. This gets to the heart of the matter: What is marriage?

Implicit in any ancient or modern definition of marriage is the notion of the conjugal union between a man and a woman. It is the conjugal act between a man and a woman that validates marriage. This is true even when spouses are not seeking or are unable to have children.

A homosexual union simply cannot achieve a conjugal union. It is not the same. A distinction exists. It is not, therefore, unjust discrimination to resist applying the definition of marriage to same-sex couples.

Why does this matter? Because 30-plus years of social science research show that experimenting with redefining families is bad for individuals, families and society. Having a mother and a father who are married and present in the home simply works best. Men and women are not interchangeable within the family.

Marriage exists, in part, for the benefit of all, especially society. To redefine marriage based on eerily Orwellian distortions of reality, with which we are being bombarded, will not benefit families or society. Distinction does not equal unjust discrimination and common sense does not equal intolerance.

Laura Madigan McCown

Oakland

 

I was disappointed to discover that Gov. LePage is still trying to pick a fight with the Maine Education Association over its endorsement of marriage equality (“LePage: Teachers union playing ‘political game,”‘ June 6). The governor asserts that the MEA has no interest in this issue and that involving itself in it is an irresponsible waste of energy and resources.

The MEA has a responsibility to represent the interests of its members, and since the MEA includes members in same-sex relationships who are being denied equal rights as married couples, the union does have a direct interest in this issue. Expressing its support for this initiative is part of the MEA’s responsibility to represent its members.

Holding a delegate vote on this issue during the MEA’s annual convention seems to have been a simple and cost-effective way to address it. (The governor also has sought to misleadingly characterize this delegate vote as a back-room decision made by union bosses.)

Gov. LePage says that his primary focus is on improving Maine’s business climate and competitiveness; Maine does desperately need economic development as well as transparent and easy-to-understand regulation. I wish Gov. LePage would stop trying to pick a fight with the MEA and focus on creating jobs in Maine.  

I don’t believe that defining a religious institution should even be within the states’ purview. I believe that taking a stand and extending equal rights to all couples would increase Maine’s appeal as a place to locate a business.  

There are lots of smart, hardworking people who live in states that have outlawed gay marriage and who are tired of being discriminated against. Maine’s economy could benefit immensely from their talent and expertise. Let’s send the message that Maine is a welcoming place for entrepreneurs to start their businesses, whatever their lifestyle preference.

Ned Swain

Portland

Readers offer ways to stop teen drivers from texting

Here’s a novel idea: Parents, how about not buying your teenager a cellphone?

The latest news reports that 58 percent of teenagers continue texting while driving, oblivious to the dangers posed to themselves, innocent drivers and their passengers.

Kids anonymously text cruel remarks to other kids or publicly post the same meanness on social networking sites for the world to see, all via their cellphones – AKA bullying. Would they say the same stuff to a kid in person?

Earbuds block the warning sounds of the outside world, like an oncoming train.

Brain tumors are linked with prolonged cellphone usage.

How can kids do a good job in school with their phone constantly alerting new messages? What about the spelling and grammar used for texting? What will happen to writing skills?

What is the upfront and monthly monetary cost of all this depersonalizing technology for struggling families? Out of touch? A luxury. Think about it.

Judith Hopkins

Pownal

Worried about teen texting while driving?

Let the cellphone companies detect the Doppler shift of the transmitted carrier. Since this is a signature of motion, they can disable texting from moving phones.

Walter Guinon

Lincolnville