Opponents of same-sex marriage in the United States often claim that allowing gays and lesbians to marry will lead to the downfall of the institution of marriage and will harm children. Drawing from 16 years of data and experience with same-sex unions in Scandinavia, Gay Marriage: For Better or for Worse? is the first book to present empirical evidence about the results of same-sex marriage (in the form of registered partnerships) from the Nordic countries. Spedale and Eskridge demonstrate that conservative defense-of-marriage arguments that predict negative effects from gay marriage are invalid, and the Scandinavian experience suggests that the institution of marriage may indeed benefit from the enactment of gay marriage. If we look at the proof from abroad, the authors argue, we must conclude that the sanctioning of gay marriage in the United States would neither undermine marriage as an institution, nor harm the wellbeing of our nation's children.
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